At Your Appointment

Acne Appointment Guide

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Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • How often do you have acne breakouts? Some of the time, most of the time, or all of the time?
  • What products do you use on your skin and hair, including shampoos, hair products, soaps, lotions, cosmetics and sunscreen?
  • Do you notice anything that triggers your symptoms and makes your skin worse, such as stress, foods, or menstruation (for females)?
  • How is acne affecting your confidence and social interactions?
  • Has your skin improved with your current medication?
  • How long have you been having breakouts?
  • What seems to make your skin better or worse?
  • Have you tried any over-the-counter treatments? If yes, which treatments have been effective?
  • What other medicines do you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements?
  • Do you have a family history of acne?
  • For females, do you have regular menstrual periods? If so, do you notice changes in your skin around your period?
  • How well is your acne medicine controlling your symptoms? Do you feel it is effective?
  • What have you done so far to treat your acne? How well do you think it's working?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • Do my symptoms mean I have acne or some other skin condition?
  • Could another medical condition be causing or contributing to my skin problems?
  • What causes acne? Am I just not keeping my skin clean enough?
  • What treatments are available to improve my skin?
  • What should I do if my skin gets worse?
  • What are the best acne treatment options for me?
  • What are the side effects?
  • How long is it safe to use this treatment?
  • When can I expect to see improvements in my skin?
  • How should I care for my skin? Are there products I should use or avoid?
  • What is the next step if this treatment doesn't work?
  • Are there other medications that would do a better job of controlling my acne?
  • Do my new or different symptoms mean that my acne is getting worse?
  • What else do you recommend I do to manage my acne?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Nov 7
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Acne. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acne/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20368048 
  2. Zaenglein AL, Pathy AL, Schlosser BJ, et al. Guidelines of care for the management of acne vulgaris. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2016 May;74(5):945-73.