Dealing with Acne

Dealing with Acne

Greasy skin and breakout spots are the last thing any teenager wants, especially at a time when they are most vulnerable, but acne tends to start at puberty. Up to 80% of teenagers suffer from acne so don’t worry, you are not alone! It is more frequent in boys and generally around one in three teenagers suffering from acne require treatment. For girls, acne is more common around the time of their monthly periods due to an increased level of hormones in the body.

Don’t believe everything you hear – it is just a myth that stress or certain foods cause acne and it is certainly not caused by lack of cleanliness!

Acne is caused by inflamed skin glands on your body and face, often worsened by bacteria in the skin. In some cases, this may be caused by an underlying medical condition such as polycystic ovary disease or other hormonal disorders. It can vary from mild and localised to severe and widespread, which can badly affect people’s quality of life. As it is a long-term condition you may require immediate treatment for severely affected skin as well as maintenance therapy to keep the spots from recurring. 

Treatment

Get into a washing routine

  • Washing your face only once or twice a day with lukewarm water will be beneficial to your acne, more so than hot water and rough flannels which can worsen your symptoms. Avoid strong or abrasive soaps and any excessive scrubbing.

Don’t squeeze them

  • Squeezing acne spots may be satisfying and tempting but doing so will increase your risk of them scarring, meaning you will be stuck with them for life.

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  • There are many effective treatments for both reducing and improving spots. They can also prevent or reduce scarring if started early enough – just ask a pharmacist for more advice.
  • Generally you need to continue treatment for at least six weeks before seeing any changes and if the treatment is effective, continue for at least four to six weeks.
  • You may need to try different preparations until you find the one that suits you, some treatments may irritate your skin initially, so seek advice from your pharmacist is this is the case

When to seek medical help?

  • If your acne is severe and causes you to feel physically unwell as a result
  • If you develop painful spots that feel ‘deep’ in your skin
  • If you get distressed by your acne or it is affected your social life
  • If you notice the beginning of scarring despite treatment