In our seven step process we use at the Advanced Acne Institute to help patients go from being an acne sufferer to an acne survivor, the first step might seem at first to be common sense.  However, many people don’t spend time thinking about it, and even fewer dermatologists actually ask their patients about it, and this can have a big impact on what treatment options are presented to a patient.

The first step is simply this: Determine what acne means to you.

In some people, acne may be causing physical discomfort. For example, the acne breakouts may be painful, or the acne breakouts may be itchy and bothersome in that regard. They might primarily seek acne treatment to alleviate these distracting and/or painful physical symptoms.

For other people, it may be the cosmetic appearance of their acne breakouts that bothers them the most.  According to the American Academy of Dermatology, numerous studies have shown that acne can be a contributing cause of depression, anxiety, low self-image or self-esteem, and a lower overall quality of life.  Whether it is the acne breakouts themselves, discoloration of the skin, or the scarring of the skin that acne can cause, any change in physical appearance due to acne can have a significant impact on the psychological well-being of both men and women.

The fact is that acne is not a “one size fits all” condition. Acne means something different almost to everybody who experiences it. It’s your mission to determine what about acne affects you the most before you start to seek treatment.

Why this rule is so important

So, why is it important to determine what acne means to you in step #1?  Well, the reality is that many people don’t take the time to really consider this before seeking treatment.  This oversight may effect not only the quality of their treatment but also the results they get in the end.

For example, someone who is just concerned about itchy skin caused by acne breakouts might be fine researching over-the-counter treatments on the internet.  However, if a person’s goal is to go from having severe acne to having 100% clear skin, they would be much better off going straight to an acne specialist like the Advanced Acne Institute rather than wasting time with “DIY” treatments or even with general practitioner dermatologists who don’t specialize in acne treatment.

Once you determine what acne means to you, you must communicate that information to your doctor.  Your doctor will use this information to set the very foundation of your whole treatment program, which will determine whether you achieve acne survivors status.

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