Introduction to Acne Treatment Continued

We want to state clearly that we are biased. We believe all of these approaches can work in concert to help clear one's skin. If we have learned anything over the last two decades, it is that refusal to keep an open mind about any medical condition hinders progress. Western physicians, who have traditionally resisted anything outside the "mainstream," are learning that other treatment modalities have merit. Chinese medicine, for example, has been practiced for thousands of years, and treatments like acupuncture-which was dismissed as "unproven" until the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) gave it the seal of approval for specific conditions-have since been subjected to rigorous testing.

Acne is no different. We are strong proponents of science, and we would in no way wish to dismiss evidence-based medicine. Nonetheless, veteran dermatologists know that acne can be difficult to treat. Frustrated patients, who try one medication after another-without achieving results-become increasingly desperate and willing to waste thousands of dollars on products that may turn out to be quackery.

With this in mind, our goal is to focus on science, common sense and cooperation among the different specialties to help you find the answer to your acne problem. We will approach this subject responsibly, with published research and interviews with top specialists.

We do believe, however, that if you have not sought medical attention for your acne problem, you should do so immediately. Even if you have a mild case, you need to see a qualified dermatologist to prevent the problem from growing worse. In 2002, Self Magazine published the results of a poll that revealed 80% of women with acne never went to see a dermatologist. Only about 25% of those polled said they used a prescription medication to treat their acne.

The dermatologist is your first stop on the road to an acne cure. He or she can work with you to determine which products to use and how to work with alternative practitioners and estheticians to achieve the result everyone wants: clear, unblemished skin. If you find that your dermatologist is unwilling to work with you as a partner in care, you are totally within your right to seek out another doctor whose personality makes you feel more comfortable and who is willing to partner with you to cure your acne. The relationship between doctor and patient is critical. You must be able to find a physician you trust and with whom you can speak honestly and openly.

A Look Ahead

This book will serve as a primer on acne, beginning with a basic explanation about your skin's structure, a look at how acne first forms and solutions to remedying the problem. And while acne is so common, we wish to remind you that it is nonetheless difficult to treat. You need to be patient, you need to follow your physician's advice to the letter, you need to manage your skin on a daily basis and make a commitment to doing so, and you must examine your lifestyle to see which factors may aggravate your acne.

Thank you for taking the time to review this book. We hope it will bring you information, in an entertaining fashion that helps you understand that your skin can, indeed, become your finest feature. It takes work. But with a little effort-and the willingness to be persistent in your search for an acne cure-you will ultimately achieve clear skin. What works for your best friend may not work for you. There is, however, an answer, so do not give up. You are not a hopeless case. You may think you have tried everything. You may have visited a dozen doctors. You may have bought out the local drugstore. In spite of this, modern technology will help you clear your skin. It just may take some time.


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