Acne is the most common skin condition in the U.S., with as many as 50 million Americans suffering from the condition. Approximately 85 percent of teenagers experience some form of acne. Before you try to self-treat your acne or use commercial products you see advertised in magazines or on TV, consult with a qualified dermatologist to learn about the specifics of your condition and how to treat it.
Use doctor referrals and Internet sites to find an acne specialist
Talk to your primary doctor about your condition and whether or not you need a dermatologist. Your physician may be able to offer advice, treatment options and medications. If not, request a referral to a dermatologist who can help you.
Contact your health insurance company to learn whether or not they cover acne treatment. Ask if you can use dermatologist you find, if a dermatologist needs to meet any criteria for reimbursement or payment, or if you must use a dermatologist approved in advance by your insurance provider.
Visit the website of the American Academy of Dermatology and use its dermatologist locator database. Enter your zip code and perform a search. The locator defaults to dermatologists within a five-mile radius of the zip code you enter. If your first search produces no results, expand the search to cover a wider radius.
Click on the profile button of dermatologists produced from your search. Look to see if they are board certified, specialize in acne, have a website or for any other information that’s important to you. Most AAD members are board certified, which means the doctor has completed a three-year residency in dermatology and passed a test administered by the American Board of Dermatology.
Search for other websites that offer dermatologist locators. These sites may provide more information than the AAD site. Click on the “About us” or other button that reveals who operates the website to make sure it is a credible and independent source of information.
Contact dermatologists who meet your criteria and ask about what insurance and payment options they accept, how long they have been practicing in your area and how soon you can make an appointment.
Research the finalist candidates from your search to find consumer reviews. Look for independent reviews, not those found on the dermatologists’ websites.