Do I need to see a dermatologist?

First of all, don’t be worried about talking to a doctor about something like acne. Dermatologists have talked to countless teens dealing with the exact same thing you are. You should feel comfortable speaking to a dermatologist no matter the severity of your acne, but here are a few cases where you should definitely reach out:

Scarring. Acne can leave behind scar tissue, but just because it’s formed doesn’t mean the damage is done. Seeing a doctor gives you an opportunity to reduce or prevent scarring altogether.

Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments aren’t working. While OTC’s don’t fix everything with a snap of the fingers, you should see results over time. If it’s been a few months and your progress is nada, a dermatologist can tell you about treatments that might be better for you.

Acne in females who are considering an oral contraceptive. Dermatologists often prescribe oral contraceptives for acne in women and they can educate you on the ways that your body might be affecting the acne.

Self-esteem. Between homework, homecoming, and parents pestering you about homework and homecoming, being a teenager can already be stressful enough. If acne is weighing on your emotions, talk to someone.

If you do decide to go see a dermatologist, one important thing to do is confirm their experience and that they are Board certified—not all are, so it’s best to double-check!

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