Do You Need To See A Dermatologist For Acne?

acne treatmentYour dermatologist is always the best source of guidance for hard-to-treat cases of acne. If you are having trouble making up your mind whether you need to see a dermatologist, here are five situations in which a doctor’s care is required.

1. Your skin has been clear, or mostly clear, and you have suddenly broken out in pimples

Acne usually develops slowly. If you have a sudden breakout of severe acne, especially if it is not limited to the face, a simple skin infection is likely not to be the real problem. Only your dermatologist can tell you for sure, but sudden and severe outbreaks of pimples can be symptoms of an acute hormone imbalance, a serious complication of hormone replacement therapy (with either estrogen or testosterone), or even the very first symptoms of potentially crippling conditions such as acne fulminans or psoriatic acne. Joint pain with an acne breakout is a signal that medical attention is urgently needed.

2. You develop cysts

An acne cyst is basically a pimple covered by healthy skin. Cystic acne is most likely to strike in the early 20’s, and it is most common in people who had little or no acne in their teens. As long as the skin is growing rapidly, pores stay open, but when the skin reaches maturity, cysts can form. Never try to lance or needle cystic acne on your own. You will probably fail to remove the infection but you are likely to create a nasty scar.

3. Your acne clears up but leaves skin spots behind

Many people who have deep, golden skin tones have more problems with the spots left behind by acne than they do with acne itself. The skin fights inflammation with the antioxidant pigment melanin. After acne clears up, melanin is left behind. Melanin deposits are especially visible on Asian skin, but people of Asian heritage often have unwanted reactions to skin lighteners. In some Asian skin types, the skin lightening agent hydroquinone, which usually works well on European skin types, can actually dye the skin purple. Your dermatologist can prevent skin-lightening disasters caused by choosing the wrong products.

4. You have deep brown or black pigments in your skin, and you develop nasty pimples where you have ingrown hairs

On some skin types, a bump or a pimple that pops up over an ingrown hair or whisker is not caused by infection. It is more likely to be an autoimmune reaction that can cause permanent damage to the skin. Your dermatologist can give you the treatment you really need to get these kinds of blemishes under control.

5. You need treatment for a “pimple emergency” just before an important date, social event, or photo shoot

Your dermatologist can deflate pimples safely, usually with a hydrocortisone injection. Don’t try this at home, because repeated injections of steroids into the same site can cause permanent loss of pigmentation in the skin.

Your doctor is also your best source of reliable information about the best new acne treatments. Seeing the dermatologist may be expensive in the short run, but your doctor can help you avoid the long-lasting skin problems that uncontrolled acne can bring.


  1. Derek Mcdoogle says:

    My son has been getting made fun of at school because of his very severe acne. You mentioned that only your dermatologist can tell your for sure, but sudden and severe outbreaks of pimples can be symptoms of an acute hormone imbalance, a service complications of hormone replacement therapy or even the very first symptoms of potentially crippling conditions. Do most acne problems get to be that serious of a condition? It looks like seeing a dermatologist might be the best option.

  2. Shad Morris says:

    My nephew was telling me that his acne won’t go away, and I was curious if he should go see a dermatologist to help him out. It’s interesting that they can actually help you if your acne goes away, but leaves marks. It’s good that there are people out there that can help people feel better about their skin.

  3. Natasha Lee says:

    I got some knowledge about acne from your blog. How acne can appear on our face. I liked your blog. But my friend was suffering from this acne problem and he was using acne skin care products in Sydney. He had told me that he is getting better results from this product without any side effects.

  4. Jenna Hunter says:

    It was astounding to read that acne usually develops slowly. My 16-year-old has school play she is preparing for and it seems that she is getting acne due to stress. I will be sure to take her to a professional this week to see how we can solve this problem!

  5. Ridley Fitzgerald says:

    It’s good to know when to see a dermatologist for acne. It’s scary to think that a skin infection could actually be the problem behind the acne. I have been clear for years now, so I will have to watch out for that.

  6. Jenna Hunter says:

    My skin has been breaking out for the past two months and I have been noticing some dark spots on my neck! I was so grateful to know from the text that many people who have deep, golden skin tones have more problems with the spots left behind by acne than they do with acne itself. I will be sure to schedule an appointment with an expert to ensure that my skin stays healthy!

  7. Kyle Winters says:

    Wow, I didn’t know that there were so many caveats to getting pimples that would make you need to see a dermatologist. The whole idea of a pimple growing over an ingrown hair and causing massive damage just sounds awful. I can definitely see why you’d want to see a dermatologist at that point.

  8. Frank Delaware says:

    I really like your point about visiting a dermatologist if you have a severe breakout. It would be nice to know that they will be able to give you something to manage everything. Plus, they might be bale to find the cause of it and help you treat it.

  9. Wilkstermboroki says:

    There are few acne creams and other beauty products that help you to get rid of acne problems slowly, but in case of the above symptoms or facing severe problems regarding acne, then it’s mandatory you consult a dermatologist for having a better and healthy skin.

  10. Clair beautynskincare says:

    Many people choose potentially dangerous drugs and occasional medicines instead of natural home remedies for acne treatment. While this brutal chemical and therapist is harmful to the prescribed skin But natural home remedies are a good way to get rid of temporary acne.

  11. Callum Palmer says:

    These are some great points; after all, while many people know what a dermatologist is, they might not know when they should see one. However, as the article points out, one of the biggest reasons to choose one is if your acne starts leaving skin spots and scars behind. It’s bad enough to have pimples to deal with in the first place, but if they start leaving permanent damage on your skin then you’ll want to get help for it.

  12. Callum Palmer says:

    There really are a lot of reasons for why you might want to see a dermatologist if you have acne. I especially like that the article warns about acne that leaves scars and skin spots behind. After all, at that point the acne is doing more damage to your skin than normal, so you want to get it looked at.

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