What can a doctor do for my acne?

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Doctors can prescribe oral or topical treatments for acne, and can also suggest more progressive solutions such as chemical peels and light therapy. You should consult a dermatologist for more information.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

Doctors urge anyone with moderate to severe acne not to go it alone. See a dermatologist who can help put together an individualized plan of attack. There is a world of medical options available to treat and control the condition, and there is no reason to suffer. Trying to treat acne yourself, even with the excellent OTC products out there, is frustrating and futile when the condition is serious. The gold standard of acne treatment is topical and systemic medications. We start with these, and if they do not provide the desired results, a doctor can offer other solutions, like chemical peels and laser treatments. A dermatologist who treats someone immediately with lasers or peels, without starting that patient on medications first, is not providing the best treatment for acne. Peels and lasers are a great addition to, and can accelerate the impact of medications but should be considered the primary prescription only if a patient cannot tolerate antibiotics, Accutane, or topical retinoic acid.

Here are the common courses of action that a dermatologist will use to treat acne. Every acne condition is as unique as the patient who suffers from it, so a skilled doctor will individualize the treatment - often combining a few of the following therapies - to achieve the best results with the fewest side effects.

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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.