Why your acne treatment regime isn’t working

by Shirley Chi, M.D.

Whether your acne treatment is store purchased product or a dermatologist recommended regime, the first thing I do when patients ask me why their skin isn’t improving is to go over their routine step by step. Quite often I find that patients are skipping steps in their regime, or only following a regime for a couple of weeks then giving up because they don’t see an improvement.

Treating any skin concern can take up to 6 or 8 weeks to take effect, because that’s how long cell turnover and skin renewal takes. For this reason, I generally like to see my patients back in the office for a follow-up visit approximately 6-8 weeks after their initial consultation, and I let them know during their first visit that results may not be evident until I see them at the follow-up appointment. I give the same advice to those who wish to try products bought in store first: If you are sticking with your regime and you aren’t seeing a significant improvement after 6 to 8 weeks, then it is time to make an appointment with your local GP or dermatologist.

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