When Dr. Hilary Baldwin is asked about what it is like to be a teenage girl with acne, she doesn’t hesitate. She knows from her own teen years — and her experience as a practicing dermatologist — that acne can truly be a medical emergency for some teens.

“If not treated effectively, acne can lead to depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and loss of self-esteem,” Dr. Baldwin says. “In extreme cases, suicidal thoughts and even attempts are not uncommon.”

Although acne can be benign in many cases, in other instances, it can trigger a body dysmorphic disorder that can be overwhelming for teens and pre-teens.