Book Review: Acne For Dummies by Herbert P. Goodheart, MD

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Acne for Dummies. Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

I've read many of the books in the For Dummies series, like Yoga for Dummies, Horses for Dummies, and . I found every one of these books to be supremely helpful and good reads, despite the fact that I don't actually consider myself a dummy.

So I had high hopes for Acne for Dummies. Although it's written by a dermatologist, Herbert Goodheart, MD, it isn't filled with complicated jargon or over-your-head medical terms.

It's straightforward, easy to understand style is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about acne and their skin in general.

Browsing through the table of contents, I was impressed with the topics this book covered. Of course it included all the basics like acne causes and development, treatment options, and scarring. But it also contained chapters specifically about both teen and adult acne, acne in the darker complexioned individual, rosacea and acne look-alike conditions.

Because each chapter is self-contained, you can jump to the section that you're most interested in (acne treatments, anyone?) Even though you don't have to read chapters in sequential order, do make sure you read every chapter. There is plenty of good information you'll miss if you don't.

Unlike many of the other acne books available, Acne for Dummies isn't hawking any treatment strategy, skin care line, or diet plan.

What you get instead is an unbiased report of all available acne treatments, and the pros and cons of each.

I also like that when the author gives an opinion, he clearly states it is his opinion. Dr. Goodheart also acknowledges when some other doctors disagree with his point of view.

All in all, Acne for Dummies is full of information that anybody with acne needs to know.

It's definitely a reference that you'll utilize time and time again.


  • This book doesn't need to be read cover to cover. You can jump to whichever chapter interests you the most.
  • It's written in easy-to-understand language.
  • It give an honest, balanced, unbiased review of acne causes and treatments.


  • There are a few small typos.


  • Acne for Dummies by Herbert P. Goodheart, MD
  • Paperback, 292 pages, with color photo insert.
  • Published by Wiley Publishing Inc., ISBN 978-0-471-74698-0

The Bottom Line

This book is a must-have for those with acne, parents of teens and tweens, and anyone in the skin care industry. It's a complete and comprehensive guide to acne development, treatment, skin care, scarring, and the psychological impact acne has. Truly everything you need to know about acne!

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