Acne – When to See a Dermatologist

When should you or one of your children seek help for acne from a dermatologist rather than just use drugstore products or see a primary care doctor?  

Dermatologists can always be helpful for acne, but there are certain situations where they are critical in preventing permanent scarring and disfigurement and the lifelong psychological problems that can result.  

If acne is causing indentations (true scarring) when it heals as opposed to just temporary pigment problems, then run, not walk, to a dermatologist.  Also if a parent has had cystic, scarring acne, a child is much more likely to have it. It’s good to get those children into care early with a dermatologist  – usually ages 11-13.  If large sections of the face break out into red pustules or deep cysts, this type of acne is more likely to scar.  Early intervention can make a big difference to the long term outcome.

See Dr. Irwin’s articles on Acne In Depth, Acne and Menopause, Acne Scars and Other Scars, Common Acne Terms.

See Dr. Irwin’s recommended skin care products for acne and oil control.

See Dr. Irwin’s directory of dermatologists in the U.S.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

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