In order to recognize whether or not you actually have acne, you need to be aware of what the symptoms are. The symptoms may include:

  • Pimples: Red spots that are persistent, that may also present as swelling of the skin that is inflamed and may be filled with pus.
  • Blackheads: Dark spots on the skin that are present in open pores.
  • Whiteheads: White bumps that are hidden beneath the surface of the skin.
  • Papules: Lumps that are red and swollen, typically on the surface of the skin, they too are filled with pus.
  • Nodules: Lumps underneath the skin, they are inflamed, are filled with pus or fluid, and are sensitive to the touch. They can grow quite large in comparison to other forms of acne.

Time to See a Dermatologist

When you have tried all of the over-the-counter skin care products and they just don’t seem to work, your first step will be to see your primary doctor. Typically, they can prescribe you an acne medication, however, if your acne has reached a severe stage, they may refer you to a dermatologist, a doctor who specializes in skin care.

Women will often find that their acne clears up when they decide to take oral contraceptives or other forms of birth control that alter their hormones. Hormone fluctuation before the menstrual cycle begins can often cause a flare-up of acne the week before she gets her period.

Older adults who see a sudden appearance of acne will want to see a doctor because it could mean that there may be a more serious, underlying disease.

It is important to note that not all non-prescribed acne skin care products work, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) severe reactions can be the result which can be confused with the already severe symptoms of acne.

If after using a skin care product you have difficulty breathing, have tightness in your throat, feel faint, have any swelling on the face, eyes, tongue or lips, go to an emergency center immediately.