How To Find Good Specialist To Help Treat Your Acne

Acne can be difficult to treat, especially if you are the only one suffering. You’ve reached the right place if you are ready to make an appointment with a doctor. This chapter will discuss the various professional services that are available to help you manage your acne. Your healthcare provider might be one of the general healthcare providers who have learned about treating acne as part of their medical training. Here’s how I can help you determine if that is the case. It doesn’t have to be. I will show you how to locate a dermatologist who is a specialist in all skin conditions.

You will also receive some tips on how to get the most out of your experience with experts in managing your skin. You will learn the details of how to handle the initial appointment, paperwork, insurance issues, and prescription refills. I also tell you what to expect during your treatment, and how to build a strong working relationship with your doctor.

The Basic Goals of Treatment

You can visit your primary care provider, or a dermatologist to treat your acne. The basic goals of treating your skin are the following:

  • To prevent scarring from occurring or to remove scarring that may already have occurred.
  • Acne lesions can be reduced in pain and discomfort.
  • To make you look better.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your goals. Discuss your goals with your healthcare provider. Get an idea of what you can expect from your treatment, what it will cost, and what to do in the event it doesn’t go as planned. Also, you can get a sense of the worst-case and best-case scenarios. This plan can include seeing a dermatologist, or another skin-care specialist.

Your Primary Healthcare Provider

Your primary care provider (PCP), is the best way to start because more healthcare providers are learning about treating skin diseases, including acne. Because they are often able, if needed, to write prescriptions for medication, they have more tools than you to help with your acne. Even if they can’t help you manage your skin, most insurance policies require that your doctor refer to specialists, such as dermatologists.

We can all work together to cure your acne

Your personal computer program (PCP) may be a(n).

  • Pediatrician: A doctor who specializes in children.
  • Family practitioner: A generalist who sees patients of all ages for routine medical issues.
  • Internist: A doctor who is trained to treat adult medical conditions.

A PCP could also be a healthcare specialist, but not a doctor.

  • A physician assistant (PA), also known as a physician assistant, is a medical assistant who works under the direction of a doctor. They are interdependent and have the understanding that the physician can be consulted whenever necessary. PAs can prescribe medicine and treat patients in most states.
  • A nurse practitioner (NP), also known as a nurse practitioner, is a registered nurse who has completed a master’s degree in advanced nursing practice. Some NPs work independently of physicians, while others work with physicians in a team setting. State laws determine their authority and scope of practice. Some states permit nurse practitioners to write prescriptions. Others don’t.

Some NPs and PAs have specialized training in dermatology. Some PAs and NPs may have more dermatology training than family physicians, internists, or pediatricians. A physician assistant or nurse practitioner can be a great option. It may reduce the wait time for an appointment with a busy doctor.

The next question is whether your PCP can manage your acne. It is important to find out the experiences of your PCP in managing acne. Asking your PCP is the best way to find out.

Your primary care provider will likely recommend one to two topical treatments for your skin if you decide to work together to treat your acne. You may also be prescribed oral antibiotics to treat acne.

Give the medication a chance to work. Be patient. It can take several weeks or months for topical medications to prove their effectiveness. Remember that medication should only be taken as directed. You should make it a habit to take or apply your acne medications the same way you brush your teeth. Acne can last many years so it is not uncommon for ongoing treatment to be required.

Your PCP may not be able to meet your expectations of improvement in your skin’s condition. You’ve tried all the prescribed medications, creams, and lotions. But your skin isn’t improving. A dermatologist is the best option for this situation. Although most cases of acne can be treated, it is sometimes necessary to seek the help of a dermatologist.

Referring a specialist

Your PCP is your best source of information if your health plan requires you to request a referral to a specialist. If your health plan allows for appointments to be made without the need to have a referral from your doctor, your PCP can still help you find a qualified professional in your area.

Although you can refer to a specialist in many ways, most specialists will only accept referrals for specialized care.

  • Consultation: Your PCP may recommend that you have a dermatology consultation. This means that the specialist will examine you and make recommendations. Then, they will send you back to your PCP to continue treatment. See the sidebar “What’s a consultation?” for more information.
  • Your PCP may request that your care for your acne-related issues be continued. Your PCP would continue to see you for routine issues like injuries and illnesses, but your specialist will take care of your acne.

You should bring or send the medical records from your past care to the dermatology specialist. This will allow her to examine any pertinent information, such as past treatments and medications.

Find the right dermatologist for you

Not all dermatologists are created equal. While some dermatologists are highly skilled and have the most up-to-date knowledge to treat your acne, others may be less capable. Ask your regular PCP to help you find the best person to treat your acne. It might be a good idea to ask your PCP who he would recommend to someone with acne.

A doctor of medicine (DO) or Medical Doctor (MD), is required for a dermatologist. First, they go to medical school. Then they are enrolled in a residency program to further their training. They are experts in diagnosing and treating skin diseases (including hair and nails) in children and adults.

A dermatologist can also be trained in one or more of these procedures depending on his/her interest and specialty.

  • Lasers and other special light delivery devices can be used to treat acne.
  • Procedures for corrective resurfacing to reduce acne scarring
  • There are many cosmetic procedures that can improve the appearance of the skin, such as Botox or “filler” injections.

The next two sections will explain how to see a dermatologist or a nurse practitioner (PA) and what to do once you are there. All of these professionals will be referred to as dermatologists from now on. Once you have compiled a list, contact each one to verify that they accept your insurance plan. Ask yourself if the doctor is not covered by your insurance plan.

Joining professional associations

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is the largest dermatologic organization in the United States. The website www.aad.org can help you find a dermatologist near you. You can find biographical information on many academy dermatologists. This includes their education and office hours. They also have the ability to confirm if they are accepting your health insurance plan. It also has detailed maps that show how to reach their offices. The American Academy of Dermatology can be reached at 930 E. Woodfield Road Schaumburg, Illinois 60173-4927 or 847-330-0230.

Find out if the dermatologist you are interested in is board-certified. “Certified” refers to a doctor who has successfully completed a dermatology training program and passed an exam (or “board”) that evaluates her ability to provide high-quality patient care in this specialty. This means that the doctor has approved all of the tests and training.

I recommend you to find a dermatologist who has been board certified.

Many dermatologists hold teaching positions in academic centers, such as major hospitals or medical or osteopathy schools. Online research can help you find out about their academic credentials.

To The Dermatologist for the First Visit

It doesn’t matter if the person you are seeing is a dermatologist or physician assistant. You should be prepared for your first visit.

Take stock of your medical history

Review your medical history before you go to your first appointment. You should be prepared to share with the dermatologist any medications that you are taking and any medical conditions you may have that could play a part in your acne.

These are some things that your dermatologist might want to know.

  • Allergies: Are you allergic to any medications?
  • Other skin conditions: Have you ever had eczema (an allergic reaction to something that has touched your skin that causes itching and inflammation) or contact dermatitis? These conditions can make your skin more sensitive to certain topical treatments.
  • You have a lot of medicines, vitamins, and supplements. Your doctor should know if you have recently ingested it or rubbed it onto your skin. The medications that you have been using to treat acne should be brought into the exam room. Your dermatologist can read the actual bottles and tubes to help you make informed decisions about the best course of action. Write down the names and dosages of any medications you have, even if you don’t bring the tubes or bottles. When you are describing how long you have been taking medication, tell us how long. Notify us if you have any subjective information, such as: Was it annoying? Was it useful? Make a list of all non-acne medications, including birth control pills, vitamins, and herbs, as well as any other medications. Be sure to include the names and dosages of all medications.

Prepare for your visit on the day

You have your medical history. Here are some additional steps

Here are some tips to get the most from your first office visit.

  • You should arrive 15 minutes early. On your first visit to any healthcare provider, you will be expected to complete a few forms. At a minimum, your name, address, and medical history will be required by your new doctor. Also, you will need to give information about your current insurance coverage and how your plan to pay for your appointments (such as cash or credit card). These issues can be addressed if you arrive at the office before your appointment.
  • Bring a parent: Minors must bring a parent or guardian. A minor is someone who is under the legal age to consent. This is usually 18 years old. Some procedures and medications require parental consent. Make sure you have a legal guardian or adult present, especially when you first visit.
  • If you don’t have insurance coverage, bring your card. You should have at least the name and birth date of any cardholder you are carrying if you don’t already have one.
  • Take off your makeup when you visit a dermatologist. You can expect a thorough examination of your skin.

The doc

The first time you visit your doctor, you will be asked about your medical history. This will include a discussion on acne, as well as a thorough examination of your skin and recommendations for treatment. He may also want to examine your back and chest for acne. You don’t need to change if your acne is limited to your face.

Your personal story of acne

These are some of my most common first-visit questions regarding acne. They will be asked all or some of these questions. You can ensure you don’t forget any questions and that you and your doctor make the most of your visit by spending a few minutes thinking about these questions.

  • What is your longest period of acne?
  • Is it a family trait?
  • Are there any family members with severe acne scarring?
  • What are you doing to your skin every day? For example, how often do you wash it?
  • Are you taking or applying for any medication?
  • Are you able to pick at lesions?
  • What makes it worse? Diet, exercise, medications, stress?
  • What have you found helpful? What has been helpful?
  • These old standbys will also be available if you are a woman:
  • Is it worse before or during your period?
  • Is makeup making it worse?
  • Are your periods normal for you?
  • Do you use birth control pills? Does it help or hinder your acne?
  • Are you noticing unusual hair growth or excess?

Understand treatment recommendations

Your dermatologist will discuss your concerns with you and perform a physical exam. She will then recommend treatment options that will most likely include medication.

Make sure you have all of your questions answered before you leave the exam room. You can always ask your doctor questions. It is important to know what you can expect from your treatment, and understand its goals.

These questions can be asked of your doctor, so make sure you ask.

  • What side effects are there from the medication you’re prescribing?
  • What is the time it will take for the treatment?
  • What do you think the lifespan of my acne is?

My standard response to patients asking me “How long it will take for my skin to clear up?” or “How much time will my acne last?” is “Gee, I’m in the repair shop this weekend!”

Deciding to switch dermatologists

If you are not happy with your treatment or have difficulty communicating with your dermatologist, you can switch doctors. These issues can be discussed with the dermatologist by you or your parent.

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