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Twitter Reveals Shocking Acne Angst. (Is There Time to Clear Up Skin for Prom? Summer?)

"Acne sucks" is rampant on Twitter. Go ahead, search for it and you'll see.

Acne is more than just a few pimples that come and go. Acne, the most common skin condition in the U.S., is characterized by any combination of: blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and deeper lumps known as cysts (cystic acne) or nodules that occur usually on the face but can also appear on the neck, chest, back, and upper arms/shoulders. Acne also has many levels of severity.

Unfortunately for teens, it's most common among that age group (although adult acne is unfortunately common enough too). Acne is also more than just unpleasant "in the moment" – it can cause long-term skin scarring and discoloration if not treated properly. Further, acne is a tremendous cause of adolescent stress and self-esteem issues and is correlated with depression in many recent studies.

Acne's psychological impact is very obvious just by doing a quick search on Twitter, whose users tend to lean much younger in demographics. Take this sampling of recent posts from Twitter account holders:

It's clear from those posts and countless others that acne can put a tremendous strain on one's psyche.

Fortunately, acne is also very treatable but may need more medical punch than home remedies or over-the-counter products. A board-certified dermatologist should be consulted to prescribe the best course of care for each specific patient, and follow-up visits are essential to tweak the care plan and to keep acne in check. (Luckily for busy teens and their parents, all of this can be done through online dermatology visits on – including the check-ups.)

We recommend that parents prioritize treatment for distressed teens. As our founder, chief medical officer and practicing board-certified dermatologist Dr. Mark Seraly said: "It's very important to acknowledge that acne can cause both physical and emotional scarring."

But can help arrive in time for prom?

Well, it depends on how quickly prom is approaching. Acne treatments usually take several weeks to a month to start to show results. If an online visit is done this week on DermatologistOnCall, that's all the sooner that treatment can start. And certainly, any patient starting good treatment soon can very likely expect to see improvement by summer.

Even Teen Vogue likes the idea of using an app solution for getting dermatology care, and included DermatologistOnCall on their list titled: 15 iPhone Apps Will Help You Have Your Best Prom Ever (we're #12).

If you or someone you care about has acne, we suggest you visit with a dermatologist as soon as possible. We make it easy to do it online right now.