When you have a problem with your eyes, you see an eye doctor. If you're having a problem with your skin, you should see a dermatologist. Acne is sometimes seen as a purely cosmetic concern, but it can have devastating effects on a person's self-esteem. It can even be physically painful. Dermatologists specialize in skin health, and they can help you overcome your acne issues. Here are four things a dermatologist can do to help you control your acne:
1. Give you dietary advice.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It naturally reacts to the fuel you put into your body. If you have undiagnosed food sensitivities, something you're eating may be contributing to your acne. Your dermatologist can give you dietary advice to clear up your acne. Excess sugar can feed the bacteria that causes acne, so reducing sugar intake may clear up your skin. People with lactose intolerance may find that cutting out dairy also improves their skin.
2. Recommend better products for face washing.
Keeping your face clean is one way you can control your acne. Acne is caused by clogged pores, and cleansing your face regularly can prevent clogs from developing. If your current face wash is ineffective, your dermatologist can recommend better products. Face washes containing salicylic acid are more effective at treating acne. You can find bars of soap formulated with salicylic acid to treat body acne as well.
3. Extract pimples and blackheads.
Your dermatologist can also extract pimples and blackheads that are troubling you. Most blemishes will clear up on their own given time, but some can be particularly painful or stubborn due to their placement. When performed by a trained professional, extraction is a safe technique that can make you more comfortable and minimize scarring. After your pimple or blackhead extraction, you can prevent infection by keeping your hands away from your face until it has healed.
4. Offer prescription treatment.
Prescription acne medication is more effective than the treatments you can get over the counter. Birth control pills and spironolactone can be used to treat hormonal acne. Antibiotic and antifungal drugs can be used to clear up stubborn infections. Your dermatologist may even prescribe topical treatments to fight acne at the source. Tretinoin is a powerful anti-acne medication that can be safely used indefinitely. It increases the rate at which your skin cells regenerate, which can prevent acne pustules from forming.