Medical history for acne

A person's medical history gives a doctor important information for diagnosing acne. You may hear questions such as:

  • Do other members of your family have skin problems? If so, what do they use to treat them, and does it work?
  • When did you first notice your skin problem?
  • Do you usually have whiteheads and blackheads or pimples?
  • Are your pimples deep under the skin, and do they hurt?
  • What causes your skin problem to get worse?
  • Did you recently get certain chemicals, oils, or other substances on your skin? Did these substances cause your skin to break out?
  • Have you recently used a new skin- or hair-care product or started a new medication, either prescribed by a doctor or bought without a prescription?
  • Do you wear any straps, helmets, shoulder pads, or tight-fitting items for sports or other activities? Do you need to use equipment that rubs on areas of your body that are more likely to develop skin problems?
  • What treatments have you used on your skin problem? Did they make your skin condition better or worse?
  • Do you have any other physical problems, such as muscle or bone pain?
  • Do you feel embarrassed or ashamed about how your skin looks? If so, does it prevent you from doing things you usually like to do?
  • Are your menstrual periods regular?

Last Updated: February 27, 2009

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