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How does a dermatologist diagnose acne?

Acne is one of the easiest diagnoses for a dermatologist to make.  The most common location is the face, but sometimes it occurs on the upper back, chest, and shoulders.

What the doctor will look for are the following: (1) non-inflamed lesions called comedones, which include clogged pores and blackheads; and (2) inflamed lesions that are commonly know as zits, pimples, and cysts, but in medical terms are called papules, pustules, and nodules.  

Your doctor will make a diagnosis of acne if you have any combination of these skin lesions on the typical body sites.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A dermatologist will be able to diagnose acne through a visual inspection and an interview. Through a series of basic questions and a physical examination, the dermatologist can typically determine the severity and plan for a course of treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.