ISO dermatologist for adult acne and skincare recommendations

Hello Berkeley parents!

I've decided it's time to seek professional advice for my adult acne, I'm pretty sure it's no longer related to being pregnant or nursing :) so I'd like to look into some treatment options. Do any of you have recommendations on a dermatologist (preferably in the Albany/Berkeley area) that does a great job treating adult acne and giving recommendations for adult skincare (since I'm in my 30s I hear it's time to kick up the skincare routine and I don't know what that should include). 

Thanks!

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If you're willing to travel a bit further, Oakland Acne Specialists on Piedmont Ave is amazing. They've transformed my skin and their products are fantastic.  

I suffered painful adult cystic acne for two decades and tried every regimen. Every topical. Accurate twice. Antibiotics for three years straight. The only solution that solved the actual root problem was giving up dairy. An acupuncturist suggested I try going DAIRY FREE for three months, on the basis of nothing but anecdotal evidence. I’m so glad I did. I saw a big improvement in just that short period of time and I was convinced to keep going. It was so glorious to eventually feel my skin smooth and not feel compelled to wear cover up. Now I no longer cringe when someone brushes my cheek or looks at me for en extended period. Having acne is so discouraging, and I am so grateful for that acupuncturists suggestion. 
 

10 years later, I have occasional dairy without adverse side effects. Milk with cookies. Or pizza. Shredded cheese on tacos. Ice cream. But this is after a period of strict avoidance and very clear skin. 
 

in the last few months, I’ve been taking high doses of biotin to treat hair loss, and this started causing cystic acne again. After some research, I added pantethine and acetyl L-Carnitine to counteract the biotin’s acne-causing side effect, and my skin is clear again. I mention this bc you might do your own research and try this too, but I’d strongly suggest limiting confounding variables so if your skin clears you know what’s working. Go dairy free first and then once you see positive results add supplements.  

I cannot recommend Acne Specialists of Oakland (located on Piedmont Ave) highly enough. I've been seeing them for 6 years since I hit 30 and realized my hormonal acne was only getting worse, especially once I went off birth control. They've kept my skin looking great through many changes including pregnancy, and nursing on a restricted diet for a baby with intolerances, and then going back to a full diet again. It was so incredible to work with folks that were able to clear my skin by changing up my products/makeup and without just going to putting me on prescriptions. So many products are "organic" or "non-clogging" these days but are actually full of lots of things that trigger acne, and by tossing all of them and sticking to my ASO routine, my skin has been 90% clear for years! They even managed to properly diagnose a skin condition I developed early in the pandemic after 2 dermatologists failed to get it right over video visits. They are just incredible, and I hope you'll take a bet on them!

Highly recommend going to see the great folks at Oakland Acne (may have different name). There is a location in Walnut Creek now too. It’s been several years and I no longer exclusively use their products as my skin has changed but solid routine, support, and regular facials with them helped me greatly! 

I think a dermatologist is a good idea. I will say I’ve learned more about skincare and the basics of a routine and why you do certain things (retinol, vitamin C, exfoliating) from a few online influencers. I’ve learned more from them than a dermatologist and they’re really honest about products. I follow Lindsey Silberman / she has so much good blog content and shares a lot on her Instagram. And then organic bunny is also a good follow if you prefer clean non-toxic skincare.

good luck! I need to find a dermatologist at some point too so hoping you get some good answers too! 

Fellow adult acne sufferer here! I highly recommend starting with a knowledgable aesthetician and then supplementing with a dermatologist. I am a huge proponent of Oakland Acne Solutions -- they are experts at adult acne and will help you develop a routine that works. I visit them for occasional facials and have fully adopted their wonderful product line. (Note: They will also help figure out what pore-clogging ingredients in your current product lineup might be making the acne worse.) I go to Golden Gate Dermatology in Walnut Creek for mole checks and for a prescription to tretinoin (a strong retinoid that fights both acne and wrinkles). My skin is clear now as long as I stick to the routine!