If you are an acne sufferer, you will understand the importance of dealing with a good dermatologist. Your dermatologist becomes your partner in dealing with what can be a very sensitive issue. You will be sharing a lot with this person so it makes sense to be very careful when choosing one to consult.

Before you even book a consult, make sure that you do some homework. Ask friends and family for recommendations – word of mouth recommendations from people you trust are a reliable guide to follow. People will also be quick to warn you of names to stay clear of and this will save you a good amount of time.

When you have a short-list of candidates, do a quick Google search. Are there any negative comments online about the dermatologists you are considering? (You would be surprised at how many people vent their frustrations online.) What qualifications do your candidates have? Are they members of any professional societies? (Professional societies usually hold their members up to higher standards and dodgy practitioners will often steer clear of them or, possibly, have been barred from being a member.) By the same token, being a member of a professional society doesn’t automatically mean that the candidate is given the green light.

When looking at the candidate’s qualifications, check if they have any specialized fields of expertise. If you are battling to make up your mind, phone up the practice and ask what cases are mostly treated and what services are offered. Ideally you want someone who has a lot of experience in dealing with acne cases. You also may want a dermatologist that can offer laser treatments for the treatments of scars at a later date.

Your next point of contact will be with the support staff. When booking a consultation, take note of whether or not the support staff are professional and friendly. If not, there’s a good chance the doctor won’t be either. Also take note of the waiting time for appointments – if a doctor is booked solid for a few weeks in advance, there is a good chance that they are very good.

The last checkpoint will be during the initial consultation with the doctor. Are they approachable? Do they seem interested in you or do they seem to want to get finished and move on to the next patient? What kind of questions are they asking? This is a relationship that could possibly go on for years. Make sure to choose someone that you feel comfortable with.