Acne can be painful and embarrassing. It's the most common skin condition in the United States. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 50 million Americans annually deal with acne, and it affects 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24.
Some people can successfully treat their acne with over-the-counter medications. Others outgrow it after they finish puberty. Many people, though, need professional care to restore clear, smooth skin. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald has decades of experience treating various skin conditions. Here are four signs it's time to talk to her about your acne.
Your Over-the-Counter Remedies Don't Work
Some mild cases of acne can be cleared using over-the-counter treatments. Often, though, acne doesn't respond to these products. Maybe they used to work, but your breakouts are becoming more frequent and severe.
You should give your over-the-counter acne medication about six weeks to see if it makes a difference. If it doesn't, don't continue to spend money on a treatment that doesn't work. It's time to see Dr. Fitzgerald.
You Have Cystic Acne
Painful, inflamed, reddish bumps are called cystic acne. This is a more serious condition than simple whiteheads and blackheads are. Cystic acne forms deep under your skin. It can last for weeks and rarely subsides without treatment. It's also far more likely to cause unsightly scarring than other forms of acne.
Over-the-counter products aren't strong enough to treat cystic acne. Dr. Fitzgerald will examine your skin type and the severity of your acne, then prescribe a medication strong enough to treat it.
You've Never Broken Out Before
Sudden breakouts, especially if you've never experienced them before, could be a symptom of another issue. Changes to your hormones, diet, or stress levels can all lead to acne. Dr. Fitzgerald can help pinpoint the cause of your breakout and prescribe a treatment.
Your sudden breakout may also not be acne at all. Some other skin conditions, such as rosacea and folliculitis, look similar to acne. They cause redness, swelling, and itchiness of your skin. Dr. Fitzgerald can diagnose those ailments and find an appropriate remedy.
You Think Medication or an Underlying Health Issue is Causing Your Acne
Certain medications that affect your hormone levels, such as birth control and steroids, can cause acne. Some inflammatory medical conditions mayalso trigger or exacerbate the issue. For example, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and SAPHO (Synovitis, Acne, Pustulosis, Hyperostosis, and Osteitis) can lead to breakouts.
Dr. Fitzgerald is trained to recognize these conditions. She can refer you to specialists, such as endocrinologists or rheumatologists, who will work with her to treat the underlying cause of your acne.
Schedule Your Acne Consultation Today
Dr. Fitzgerald knows that when you look your best, you feel your best. She's dedicated to helping her patients achieve clear, smooth, youthful-looking skin. She serves Beverly Hills, Larchmont, and surrounding areas of Los Angeles. Call (323) 464-8064 today to schedule a consultation.