When to Visit Doctor for Acne

Acne in most people is mild and can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. But in some cases visiting doctor is necessary. Read to to know when.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Skin CareWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Aug 12, 2011
When to Visit Doctor for Acne

Acne in most people is not a serious medical condition and does not require treatment or visit to a doctor.

Doctor asking acne symptomsIt affects almost everyone and causes misery due to its uncalled for dent in both self-confidence and self-esteem. But severe acne can make people extremely conscious of their physical appearance and might as well cause depression, anxiety or embarrassment when they socialise. Visit or call your doctor for acne if:

  • Your acne is worsening despite good home care.

If, after careful and consistent treatment at home, your acne isn't improving or seems to be worsening, you should contact your doctor. Your dermatologist may prescribe acne mediations, and will have helpful advice regarding proper acne skin care and home treatment.

  • You have nodules and cystic breakouts.

Nodules and cysts are very severe forms of breakouts and should be evaluated by a dermatologist. These deep blemishes can easily cause scarring, so they should be treated promptly. Even if you don't have cystic breakouts, call your doctor if your skin seems very inflamed or infected.

  • You think your acne may be caused by a medication.

Certain medications, such as steroids and birth control pills, may cause acne. If you are taking any medications and your skin begins breaking out, let your doctor know.

  • You are extremely upset or depressed about your skin.

Do you avoid social situations because of your skin? Do you feel depressed? If you feel like your acne is adversely affecting your life or self-esteem, please talk with your doctor. He or she will have treatment options available that can not only improve your skin, but also help you deal with the feelings of frustration and despair that can come along with acne.

Waiting for acne to clear on its own can be frustrating. Without treatment, acne can cause permanent scars, low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.

To avoid these possible outcomes, dermatologists recommend that people treat acne. When the skin clears, treatment should continue. Treatment prevents new breakouts. Your dermatologist can tell you when you no longer need to treat acne to prevent breakouts.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics (to be taken orally or for topical application), hormone containing mediations or some other cream/lotion for topical application.


Ask your doctor about the potential side effects of the treatment. Some people require long term treatment to cure acne problem. Consult a dermatologist with whom you are comfortable as acne is as much an emotional condition as a physical one. In addition to treatment follow simple measures like regularly cleaning your face and avoiding foods which seem to worsen your acne (fried foods, chocolates and other hot food items.)


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