If you ask the question, "how serious is acne", most people, including many health care professionals, will tell you that they regard acne as a relatively trivial condition. After all, acne never kills anyone, it's not a condition that causes severe disability and, if it was left untreated, it would resolve itself in the majority of cases. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that a lot of health care professionals, especially those who haven't been trained in skin conditions, fail to see the full picture and the impact it can have on a patient's wellbeing.
Acne ranges in severity from very mild, just a few spots or pimples, to the very severe, extensive lesions and scarring. Acne mainly affects a patient's quality of life, it can have a negative effect on their self-esteem, lead to severe depression and some patients also consider suicide! For the vast majority of people, this is totally unnecessary as almost all cases of acne, no matter how severe, can be treated successfully nowadays.
As with any skin condition, you cannot assume that just because a patient has very mild symptoms that they are in any way less affected by their condition than someone with very severe symptoms. If you have a child, friend or relation who's life is being ruined by acne, please take the time to get them some help, it is thought that up to 20% of people with skin conditions have suicidal thoughts, and 5% actively consider suicide as a better option than living with there disease. For many people acne is life-ruining, but for some it is a very real life-threatening condition.
It is very difficult to convey the trauma an acne patient suffers to a non-sufferer, but I ask you to try to imagine what it must be like to have the most visible part of your body, your face, consistently affected by this chronic condition. If you can imagine, even slightly, what acne patients go through, you might somehow understand why they put so much effort into finding a treatment that works for them.
There are literally hundreds of treatment options available to acne patients, but finding the one that suits you best can be a long laborious task - don't give up however, because while you can treat almost all cases of acne successfully, if you leave it untreated you run the risk of scarring, and the scars will last forever.
If the option is available to you, I would certainly recommend a visit to the dermatologist. Your dermatologist will assess your treatment needs based on a number of factors, such as the type of skin you have, your gender, your age, your overall health, the site of your acne and whether it's infected or not, they will also take into account your levels of stress. They will also have access to the very latest treatments and any new management techniques, and are vastly experienced in treating all types of acne.
Ray Baker is a writer and crusader for better health. He writes about medical issues for The Proactive Acne Cream Guide, a free site where you will find articles and advice on acne, acne treatments, and Proactive Acne Solution.