Dermatology 911

By Dr. Kathy Fields

Patient Name: Bree*

Gender: Female

Age: 29 years old

Concern: acne

Doctor’s  Notes:

Bree, a graduate student in psychology and longtime acne patient, presented with a flair in her condition. This event is a common one seen in students undergoing final exams just prior to the winter break. The fact that Bree’s acne had severely worsened under pressure is no surprise. Research from Stanford University’s School of Medicine shows that there may be a strong correlation between exam-related stress and acne severity in college students. A volunteer sample of students with varying degrees of acne was assessed during both non-examination and examination periods. The result was that as students approached exams and experienced a higher level of stress, they also experienced more severe acne. But unfortunately, acne flare-ups don’t stop once you’ve received your diploma. Acne can be a lifelong condition and flare-ups can be brought on by any of life’s stresses.

The best way to prevent acne is to treat the full face daily with an acne-focused regimen containing either sulfur or benzoyl peroxide to address breakouts, and hydroquinone to address post-acne dark marks. If you’re coming into typically high stress circumstances, double up and apply your regimen twice daily. People with really persistent acne may need to see a dermatologist for more intensive treatment options. In Bree’s case, I recommended an over-the-counter acne regimen twice daily for a month before resorting to a prescription alternative. But daily preventative treatment the month before her finals would have most likely saved her the trip. Because when it comes to acne, prevention is key

name removed for privacy~

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