Acne. When to visit a dermatologist?

Acne. They sting, they burn, they itch, and most of all, they ruin our self esteem.

A small bump or two are annoying. But for some people, acne can be particularly agonizing, especially when the condition affects their daily routine. This is true for sufferers of cystic acne, a horrible form of acne which comes in patches of pus filled, painful inflammations on the skin. Some people run to the skin doctor, known as a dermatologist at the slightest bump, but some acne sufferers however suffer in silence.

When do we actually need to visit a dermatologist?

Well, however mild it can be, acne is still categorized as a skin disease. It is when the pockets, where hair is formed, gets clogged up by oil and dead skin cells, worsened by bacteria, which then forms a painful bump on the skin. Acne usually strikes during puberty, periods of stress or when malnourished. We visit a doctor when we’re feeling sick, why not visit a dermatologist too when our skin isn’t feeling right?

Why visit a dermatologist?

Dermatologists are a bunch of intellectuals who have spent years  scrutinizing over the thousands of probabilities that may manifest our skin, after having a degree in medical surgery of course. So we have to trust these pros when it comes to finding a cause to acne and also to treat our misbehaving skin.

Everyone’s skin is different, naturally, so can be the cause for acne. By visiting a professional, we get to have our problems evaluated, have it properly diagnosed, and have a prescription list tailored to suit your individual needs.

Many people self medicate when it comes to acne. It’s hard not to see why, with so many over the counter products made for combating acne readily available. Those are of course effective for most people but these formulations are mainly targeted at treating mild acne because stronger medications would require a prescription from a medical personnel, like a dermatologist.

By visiting a dermatologist, acne sufferers will have their doubts clarified, be given proper treatment and also be educated on how to take better care of your skin, the correct way. When acne sufferers visit a dermatologist early enough, they can be spared of the devastating effects of acne, like scarring.

What to expect at the dermatologist’s?

Some people choose not to visit a dermatologist for fear of not knowing what goes on in the doctor’s office. ¬†Fear not. Here’s a breakdown of what typically goes on in a doctor’s visit.

First of all, you register at the main counter so the office will have a copy of your personal details. After the registration, you’ll be shown into the doctor’s office.

The dermatologist will usually ask about your main complain for the visit. Don’t be afraid to tell them about what’s bugging you, that is the whole point of the visit isn’t it? Don’t be shy. You’ll not be the first one the doctor has seen with a skin problem. Always be honest when answering questions because it will allow for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Remember, any information exchanged in the office is confidential and will not be leaked.

The dermatologist will then advice you and come up with a diagnosis. Usually, they’ll give you a prescription and ask you for a recall visit after finishing a course of medication, just to observe for any improvement. If not, they’ll give you another medication to try until you’ve found one that’s right for you.

Acne medication ranges from topical, orally ingested type, antibiotics to steroids and skin peeling. Hence, it is important to inform the dermatologist beforehand of any medical allergies.

Topical medications can range from retinoids like Retin-A which require protection from sunlight upon application; Differin; Benzoyl Peroxide which dries out acne and required adequate moisturization; various acids to unclog pores like Salicylic Acid and topical antibiotics like Clindamycin Phosphate which may cause allergies in certain people.

When topical medications do not work,the  dermatologist might prescribe oral acne medications to be used along or alongside other forms of acne medication. Oral meds might include antibiotics from the tetracycline group like Doxycycline, which may cause allergies; Roaccutane which causes the drying out of skin and mucus layers of our whole body, the effect of this drug is very strong and can have devastating in patients with kidney problems. There can also be recommendation of supplements like Vitamin C, B, minerals zinc, iron, magnesium for healthier nails and skin.

Other procedures that may have to be done in increments for better looking skin would include laser therapy, microdermabrasions and acid skin peeling. These would improve the texture of skin and reduce the appearance of scars after patient’s acne problem has stabilized.

The combinations of different treatments are endless because individuals have different skin types and bodily requirements. Hence, visiting a dermatologist would best ensure acne patients a personal and effective treatment for their conditions.