How to find the best dermatologist for acne prone skin

 Before starting The Dermal Diary, I spent close to four years working with some of Sydney's best dermatologists, handling acne patients on a skin product and treatment plan level. Because of my experience, I am well placed to recommend how to find the best dermatologist for acne prone skin.

 What is a dermatologist?

 Dermatologists are highly trained skin doctors. They focus exclusively on the skin, and the problems that arise with it.  If you or a loved one is suffering from acne, you’re not alone. Acne is a common skin problem stemming from overactive sebaceous activity - bacteria that exists in the sebaceous gland and blocked pores caused by skin that sheds and gets glued into pores due to the high amount of oil being produced. It usually starts in teenage years but in some cases it can persist into the 30s and 40s. 

 Which types of acne can be treated?

 Acne comes in many forms and mainly affects the face, back and chest. Blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts all fall under the acne category and while a dermatologist can treat all types of acne, most dermatologists are focused on severe pustular, inflamed acne. 

 How can a dermatologist help my acne?

 Dermatologists can diagnose bacterial problems and prescribe medication to kill the bacteria. They can also prescribe medications that treat the sebaceous cell itself, resulting in a reduction in oils and therefore reducing the acne.

 4 of the ways that a dermatologist can help improve acne:

 1.They can correctly diagnose the type of acne the patient is suffering from after a thorough skin analysis.

2. After discussing treatment options and listening to a patient’s medical and acne medication history, they can prescribe appropriate medication to treat the acne. They will start with the least invasive option first, or may prescribe an ideal treatment plan involving a dermal therapist. The plan usually includes but is not limited to: medication, facial treatments like peels, and at home skin care products like retinols.

3. Provide comprehensive instructions around medication, skin health and products.

4. Follow up with the patient as the treatment plan dictates, and tweak the prescription/treatment plan according to the results being achieved.

 How do I know whether to visit a dermatologist?

 Anybody who is suffering from acne can see a dermatologist, but it may not always be necessary. This is where my role as a Dermal Therapist is important - when patients visit me for advice on their acne I am thorough in my analysis and explanation of what can be achieved without prescribed medication. I will also be honest in my opinion about whether they should seek dermatological advice if I think their type of acne needs prescription medication.

 Four of Sydney’s top dermatologists

 Having worked with some of Sydney’s best dermatologists, I am well placed to offer recommendations. These are some of the dermatologists I would recommend if you are seriously considering seeking dermatological treatment for your acne:

 1. Dr Nina Wines and Dr Liz Dawes Higgs, Northern Sydney Dermatology, Northbridge (

2. Dr Michael Lee, Northern Sydney Dermatology (

3. Dr Natasha Cook, Darlinghurst Dermatology (

4. Dr Vanessa Paddon, St Leonards Dermatology and Laser (

 How The Dermal Diary can help

Some patients are opposed to taking medication and want a more hands on approach, which is where I come in. I can prescribe home care products and in-clinic treatment plans either in conjunction with medications prescribed by a dermatologist or alone.  

 I also have experience in guiding the patients of dermatologists through their treatment and recovery period, reporting back to the dermatologist about the patient’s progress. It was in this role that I realised there was a need for a therapist that stood between a beauty therapist and a dermatologist to link both modalities, inspiring the creation of The Dermal Diary. Many patients are prescribed medications that make their skin sensitive to sun and products, I am able to assist navigate the minefield that is medicated skin management and guide the patient on the road to recovery.

If you are suffering from acne-prone skin and would like to know more about your treatment options, visit The Dermal Diary in person, for a First Time Visit Skin Diagnostics Appointment. I encourage you to bring your skin products and any skin related prescriptions in for straight up advice on their effectiveness and suitability for your skin type goals.