Is Acne Really a Medical Problem?

On the surface, acne seems like a relatively simple problem.  So why do I recommend to people that they see a physician for acne?

I see many patients with acne, and there are definite benefits to consulting a physician who treats acne, such as a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon.  Acne is not only socially detrimental, but cystic acne can cause permanent scarring.  Laser treatments can improve the appearance of acne scars, but the best treatment is definitely prevention.  So where should you start?

Courtesy of shutterstock.com

Courtesy of shutterstock.com

 

  • First and foremost, make sure you are using the correct skin care regimen, as many patients with acne don’t use the right skin care, or don’t use it correctly.  For example, I find many people with oily skin don’t like to use moisturizer because they feel it makes their skin oilier.  But the reverse is actually true; keeping your skin well-moisturized signals it to produce less oil.
  • Second, there are prescription medications that are very effective for treating acne, but these are only available if you see a physician. These may include Retin-A and benzoyl peroxide, or a combination medication such as Epi-Duo.
  • Finally, additional options such as laser therapy and chemical peels may be appropriate for acne that has been resistant to treatment. Laser treatments work by killing the bacteria associated with acne, and may help decrease oil production.  Chemical peels can help unclog pores and may decrease the frequency and severity of breakouts.

So long story short, if you suffer from frequent acne breakouts, I do recommend seeing a Dermatologist or a Plastic Surgeon for an evaluation.  Although some of the treatment options are not covered by insurance, this initial visit generally is covered.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.