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Stubborn Acne: When to See a Doctor


If your teen is one of the roughly 85 percent of young adults suffering from acne, and their over-the-counter products aren’t cutting it, it may be time to get medical advice. Check out these top three indicators to help you decide if it’s time to make an appointment with your doc.

Yikes! Three Signs it’s Time to See a Doctor:

1. Ugh: I'm Not Seeing Results
If your teen has tried over-the counter (OTC) products with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, and is still singing the acne blues, they may need a stronger formula or alternative treatment prescribed by a doctor. First, make sure they’re using the OTC products consistently, not just when they feel like it. If your teen isn’t seeing results after three months of consistent use, talk to your primary care doctor or a dermatologist about the best next steps.

2. Ouch: His Acne is Literally a Pain
As blocked pores become more irritated, they can get bigger and form enlarged pimples called cysts or nodules that are deep, about the size of a pencil eraser, and can prove especially painful. Whether your kiddo is five or fifteen, it’s hard to see them in pain. If pimples are causing your teen regular discomfort, a medical professional may be able to prescribe treatments that bring timely relief.

3. Yikes: Her Pimples Leave Scars
True or false: You should let acne run its course? Believe it or not, this is a common myth that is false. Untreated acne can ultimately leave behind pigmentation and scars. Deep breath – it’s not too late! You can expect a pimple to leave a mark for a week or two after it’s healed, but if your teen’s skin remains pigmented or pocked, turn to a doctor for treatments to reduce scarring and discoloration. At the same time, you can address current breakouts to prevent future scarring.

Beyond these three troubling scenarios, acne woes can also negatively affect your teen’s confidence and stress-level. Don’t hesitate to take action that will help them overcome their skin trouble sooner rather than later. After all, once your teen overcomes their acne, you’ll still need to help your kid navigate other teenage struggles like curfew and final exams. But we’ll take it one step at a time right? (Phew!)

Third-party references and links provided in this article are for educational purposes only. No sponsorship or endorsement is implied. Information has been used from the American Academy of Dermatology.

© Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2017

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