Acne is the most common skin disorder we see in the clinic and it's something of a specialty because we know that changing skin changes lives.

And yet so many of us put up with breakouts despite the misery it can cause.

So when is the right time to get proper help?

It can be so hard to know. And there’s often residual guilt that it’s “just a few spots”, that it isn’t something you should bother the doctor with.

No no NO!!!

I want more for you from your skin!!! So here’s 4 scenarios to give you a framework for determining if its the right time to seek help:

1) You’ve given it a real go with over the counter products

You’ve put together a balanced routine. It contains a retinoid and an anti-inflammatory. You’ve chosen non-clogging skincare and make-up. And you've given it 8-12 weeks and used the plan diligently. I think at this point if you’re dissatisfied with your progress - and I’d estimate that 30% improvement is about right to expect at this stage - think about making an appointment.

2) You’re in a rush

Maybe you have a wedding coming up or a big birthday. Then why waste time worrying about what state your skin will be in; take action early to get it controlled. Indeed, that worry can be a real driver to break out even more. So nip that negative loop in the bud and make an appointment.

3) You’re suffering psychologically

I think many of us have been there. When you look at yourself and all you see are the imperfections. When you start to plan what you will and won’t do based on how your skin is looking. And when it feels like it's taking over your life and preoccupying your every waking moment. Then it’s time to think about making an appointment.

4) You’re seeing serious consequences

This is really key, and ideally we don't wait til this happens. Scarring is a serious complication of acne and necessitates medical care - this is undoubtedly the best way to tackle this. If it's happening on the body, that’s important too, as the areas that tend to heal poorly are the temples jawline, chest and back. It's a marker of severity and often runs in families. It's probably time to make an appointment.

Final Thoughts

It’s so easy to get used to breaking out. And to accept it as your lot. It *doesn’t* have to be the case. What Dr Emma, Tracy, Rakesh and I hope to achieve through our Instagram Lives and content is to build your confidence so you can make smart choices for your skin! And if we can help you start on the journey through the clinic, we're here for you. Whenever you're ready to take the first step.