Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School



Your doctor usually can diagnose acne based on a simple physical examination. He or she will look for acne comedones, pustules, nodules and cysts on your face, chest, back, upper arms and shoulders.

Your doctor will ask questions about your medical history to try to identify contributing factors. You will be asked about your:

  • Menstrual history

  • Patterns of hair growth

  • Cosmetics

  • Facial cleansers

  • Medications

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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