Acne can be irritating or it can be life changing. There are not very many people who have escaped a few pimples and blackheads. That’s par for the course. But the diagnosis of acne as more severe is another story altogether.
Diagnosis of Mild Acne
Mild acne includes small whiteheads- little bumps. These aren’t hard to treat. They will usually go away on their own. Blackheads come up through the pores without the covering of skin. They are often taken care of with a product that kills bacteria and dissolves the “dirt”. Whiteheads are closed comedones and blackheads are open comedones. They are basically the same; it is the way they present that makes the difference.
Diagnosis of Severe Acne
When acne is severe, cysts and nodules form under the skin. The areas are inflamed and red. The acne spreads and does not respond to typical treatment. It can spread anywhere on the body and it is not only irritating, it is painful. When acne gets like this, a professional is needed.
A dermatologist will examine the severity and extent of the acne, and then they will ask a lot of questions before determining what is needed to take care of the problem. Severe acne is usually treated with topical medications and pills. Exactly which kind of pills is determined by the cause of the acne. Sometimes it takes several visits to pinpoint the cause because every case is individual.
What many people don’t realize is that when acne is severe, there can be other health problems, too. Severe acne can be accompanied by fever and aching, headaches and even gastrointestinal distress. It is both an inside and an outside issue that calls for more radical treatment than over the counter treatment.
If you have a problem with severe acne, keep a record of your outbreaks and any other symptoms that accompany the outbreaks. Dermatologists need to know when you experience each symptom. Keep a detailed description of your outbreaks as well. This helps them to make a diagnosis of acne or alternatively, another issue altogether.
Diagnosis of Acne - Look-A-Likes
- Rosacea - This is different from acne but does resemble it with papules and pustules. It can be treated, but not with traditional acne treatments.
- Keratosis - Small bumps that look like whiteheads
- Miliaria rubra- This is heat rash. The rash produces red bumps that are small and usually in one area.
- Allergies can cause skin problems that resemble acne.
- Sexually transmitted diseases can cause some forms of acne but they may cause other skin issues, too. The Herpes virus can cause painful, red bumps to appear on the buttocks.
Diagnosis of Acne - Some Causes
- Sometimes a drug can be the cause of acne breakouts. Anabolic steroids- prednisone and lithium; Phenobarbital and Tetracycline - all of these are triggers for acne.
- Excessive amounts of B complex have been known to cause acne breakouts.
The dermatologist needs an honest list of everything you put into your system in order to diagnose your problem with accuracy. Successful treatment of your skin problem starts with an accurate diagnosis of acne.