Nothing you’ve tried has worked
Pressmaster/Shutterstock Most people think that breaking out is limited to the teenage years, when everything seems to be soaked in humiliation. Sadly, the truth is, while the most prone people to get pimples and acne are teens, bad skin can haunt you through adulthood. Your acne may even be trying to tell you something important.
You’ve likely spent a pretty penny investing in over-the-counter treatments for curing acne. (Make sure you don’t fall for any of these acne myths.) Treatments shouldn’t take more than four to six weeks to prove their magic, so if you’ve been relying on OTC acne products for several months and your acne hasn’t improved, it’s time to seek out something stronger.
“Prescription treatment comes in many different forms,” says NYC dermatologist Whitney Bowe, MD, “including superficial chemical peels and light-based therapies, topical over the counter skincare products, dietary modifications and counseling, topical prescription therapies, and even oral prescription therapies.”
You’re painfully self-conscious
Alliance/Shutterstock “If someone is self-conscious as a result of their breakouts, that alone is enough to justify treatment,” says Dr. Bowe. Dermatologists won’t critique your decision to seek help, so make an appointment. (Have you ruled out these possible causes for your breakouts?) It may not be as bad as others’ skin, but when even the little bit you have just won’t quit, there’s no shame in raising your hand for help.
“Some patients come to see me and with simple changes in stress management and diet, their skin can turn a corner. So I firmly believe that you needn’t wait until your skin is scarring or your acne is severe to make an appointment with your derm!” says Dr. Bowe.