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How does a dermatologist diagnose acne?
To diagnose your acne, a dermatologist first needs to examine your skin and determine if you have acne, ensuring that you are not affected by some other skin condition. If you have been diagnosed with acne, the dermatologist will then grade your acne based on a scale from mild (one) to severe (seven), noting which type of acne you have, and how it appears on your skin.
Not all acne treatments work on everyone, however, virtually every case of acne can be controlled. Those who have mild blemishes often try over the counter products. These products typically contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid and will aid in clearing up your skin. Unfortunately, acne treatments take time, with the average treatment taking anywhere from 4-8 weeks before you may see any improvements.
Determining when to visit Dermatology Specialists of Illinois
If you are experiencing an excessive amount of blackheads, pimples, pustules, cysts, or nodules, non-prescription medicine may not work. Visit with your dermatologist in order to determine which type of treatment may be more effective for you.
Topical Treatments – Many acne treatments are applied directly to your skin as a prescribed topical ointment. With topical treatments, the bacteria that are building up on your skin will be killed off, and the oils on your skin will be reduced. These topical ointments will contain an anti-inflammatory, retinoid, an antibiotic, salicylic, acid or a prescribed benzoyl peroxide, depending on your particular case.
Oral Treatments – Oral treatment may be necessary if your acne is red or swollen. In order to treat cysts and nodules, your dermatologist will often prescribe antibiotics that not only kill off bacteria, but can also reduce the inflammation that comes with acne.
Often, an oral antibiotic and topical ointments will be used in combination in order to treat certain forms of acne. In very refractory cases, a drug called isotretinoin is used with excellent results. This drug is often referred to by its original branded name, “Accutane”.
Which procedures are offered to treat acne?
There are a variety of other procedures that dermatologists will use to treat acne as well. Be sure to speak with your dermatology specialist in order to determine the right treatment for your specific case.
Intralesional Steroidal injections – Carefully placed injections of medication rapidly deflate large zits.
Lasers and Light Therapies – These devices can be used to help reduce the acne bacteria on your skin.
Chemical Peels – There are two types of gentle chemical peels used to treat acne blackheads, whiteheads and papules.
Acne Surgery – This form of treatment is performed in order to extract blackheads or to remove a large acne cyst by draining. This is an effective treatment for cysts that do not go away with the treatment of oral and/or topical medicines. This form of treatment is helpful to relieve any pain associated with the cyst, as well as preventing scarring.
Facials – When properly done with the correct products, facials can improve mild to moderate acne.
Since acne does not clear up on its own, the proper treatment is necessary. Untreated acne can leave you with permanent scarring, and often results in low self-esteem and depression. Dermatologists may recommend lower-dose maintenance treatments after the acne has been cleared up, which will help to prevent potential breakouts in the future.
Call Dermatology Specialists of Illinois at (844) 307-7546 to schedule a consultation.