Sometimes minor skin issues can be resolved without a trip to the dermatologist. If any issue is ongoing, you are doing yourself a disservice by trying to treat the problem without professional help.
Diagnosing The Problem
Most people immediately assume any breakouts on their skin are acne and may spend hundreds of dollars on retail products to improve their skin. In some cases, the breakouts on your face may not be acne, but are the result of other dermatological conditions. Additionally, there are several types of breakouts that are considered acne, but this is not technically true, and a dermatologist can tell you the difference between each type and why they occur. Having an accurate diagnosis will make it easier to determine the underlying problem and find an effective treatment. In some instances, skin issues can be hormonal or autoimmune, and no amount of retail treatments will fix these issues.
Some skin issues need to be fixed or minimized with extractions because this is the safest way to excise cysts or blackheads, and will cause the least amount of scarring. When people mistakenly think they have an acne breakout, but it is really a cyst, their attempts at extraction only exacerbate the problem. Ultimately, they may break the cyst wall and drive the contents deeper under the skin, leading to inflammation or infection. Once a cyst becomes inflamed or infected, it is harder to extract once the inflammation has subsided and the risk of recurrence increases. Although some blackheads may be extracted with removal strips, large or numerous blackheads not only need to be extracted, but they require other tactics to reduce their recurrence.
The medications used by dermatologists are much stronger and more effective than retail versions of the same treatments. For example, your dermatologist might recommend topical creams to reduce acne or help soften the skin to make blackhead extraction easier. Other treatments available by your dermatologist that are not available in the store are steroid injections. Sometimes, dermatologists will inject a small amount of steroids into a large and/or painful breakout to help it disappear faster. Other options for treatment might be in-office procedures, such as laser therapy or microdermabrasion, both of which can improve your skin's appearance if you also have acne scars.
There are many skin issues that will only improve or resolve with the help of a dermatology service. Finding an accurate diagnosis of the underlying problem is the best investment on the road to clearer skin.