Acne affects  a lot of people, of any age, across the world. The impact of this condition varies from person to person. So, when exactly should you contact a dermatologist?

Some forms of acne improve spontaneously. Others can get worse. It is very difficult, even impossible, to predict how a patient’s acne will evolve and determine whether it will get better, disappear or get worse.

Dr Sandra Ly, Dermatologist, Hôpital Saint-André, Bordeaux University Hospital, and Dermatology Clinic in Gradignan (France).



For some, over-the-counter topical skincare products and a daily care routine are enough to solve the problem. Others need to find more powerful, long-term solutions. In particular, women experiencing late or persistent acne, known as women’s acne, often feel like they have tried everything and that nothing works.

However, today, there are solutions adapted to all types of acne. Pharmacists, doctors and dermatologists are there to help you find the right one.
So, when is the right moment to consult a specialist? Is it worthwhile even if the acne isn’t very severe? What will happen during the consultation? How are acne treatments monitored?

Classic treatments help with light to moderate acne, while waiting for spontaneous improvement. They help patients have a more serene adolescence and make a few extra months or years of controlled acne possible, with fewer marks and scars.

Dr Sandra Ly, Dermatologist

If you’re 25 and still suffering from acne, should you consult a specialist? Of course.

During adolescence and as an adult, people affected by acne consult doctors and dermatologists earlier and more often than in the past. And not only for severe acne with a significant risk of scaring. Often seeing a doctor for light to moderate acne is beneficial as treating the condition at an early stage can help prevent it getting worse. So, don’t hesitate to reach out when the first spots start to appear.

Regardless of the severity, if you lose self-confidence and start having a negative self-image or difficulties in your relationships with others because of acne, or even moderate imperfections, you should definitely see your doctor and share these feelings.

Acne is sometimes responsible for depression, and once again, treating the condition can prevent the situation from spiralling. This recommendation applies during adolescence, a period when young people feel particularly vulnerable, but also as n adult when guilt and stress can aggravate the problem.

As soon as the acne starts having a detrimental effect on your quality of life, it’s time to take care of your skin with professional help.

teenage skin problems

skin care for teenage acne
  1. It all begins with a conversation with your doctor or dermatologist: this is your opportunity to explain the history of your acne, when it started, what treatments you’ve already tried and acne’s impact on your quality of life, as well as what you expect from the treatment. The doctor will ask for as much information as possible about any intolerances, allergies, other medication you’re taking and whether you want to get pregnant.
  2. The dermatologist will then examine your skin (face, neck and back) to determine the nature of the lesions (blackheads, microcysts or pustules) 
  3. The doctor determines the severity of your acne according to an official rating based on 5 stages.
  4. They will prescribe a topical and/or oral treatment depending on the acne’s severity, specifying the dose, frequency (morning/ evening) and length of treatment, usually 3 months to start. 
  5. The doctor will then give you personalised advice on following the treatment, your daily skincare routine and any cosmetic products that can help optimise your skin’s condition. 

At the end of your first appointment, you will know what kind of acne you are suffering from, what treatment to follow and common mistakes to avoid in your daily routine. Now all you have to do is complete the treatment rigorously and patiently, as the results can take a few weeks or months to appear.

I fully explain the treatment at the beginning and I then see the patient again after 3 months to evaluate the initial results. During this second appointment, it is important to be honest about the experience and whether the treatment was methodically followed or not - there is no point in distorting or concealing the truth. I am not there to judge the patient but to help them adapt the treatment to their personal needs.

Dr Sandra Ly, Dermatologist

Bring some photos of your skin showing the different types of blemishes you suffer from – just in case your skin is looking rather spot-free when you see the doctor! This also ensures that they don’t underestimate the problem and prescribe a treatment that is adapted to your situation. 


Be honest about taking the treatment. It’s in your own interest. The dermatologist is there to help you, not judge you. If you haven’t stuck to the recommendations, tell them and explain why - forgetfulness, too constraining or side effects? If you aren’t satisfied with the results or you’re suffering from undesirable side effects, let them know. The doctor needs all this information in order to adapt the treatment if necessary.


Remember to indicate any changes in your care routine: For example, new makeup, cleansing or moisturising products. Explain why you made the change and also specify any other medication you are taking, in particular the birth control pill.


Make your next appointment straight away at the end of your visit, as waiting times can be long. It is important not to interrupt your treatment just because you don’t have the prescription you need.

Hygiene & skincare

Combination, oily to acne-prone skin

The Sebium range

The skin changes during adolescence: it becomes thicker, with a dull, greasy and shiny appearance. Blemishes appear to a varying extent and sometimes remain into adulthood.

BIODERMA’s solution: Sebium, a range formulated for combination, oily to acne-prone skin.

The Sebium range has cleansing and care products that are specifically recommended by dermatologists: facial cleansers for oily skin (foaming gel and micellar water), anti-blemish creams, moisturisers for acne-prone skin, and more.

Choose the routine that best meets your skin's needs!