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A Brief Guide To Acne
What is acne?
Acne is an incredibly common skin disorder that many young people experience in early puberty. It is caused by inflammation of the sebaceous glands that surround the fine hairs on the face and chest. The worst acne usually occurs at the ages of 17 to 19 and it tends to have gone away by the mid-20s although in rare cases it can last until someone is in their 40s.
What causes acne?
During puberty, the production of male sex hormones increases. This is the case for both girls and boys and the result is the greater production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Some people, usually males are highly sensitive to male sex hormones in this regard and get severe acne that requires medical treatment.
Spots are often caused by common bacteria that live on the skin and feed on sebum; the waste products of which inflame the sebaceous glands.
The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy or menstruation can also contribute to the occurrence of acne, as can environmental pollution, severe heat, humidity or cold.
What are the symptoms?
Red spots appear which become larger, inflamed pimples then disappear after a few days, or perhaps weeks, depending on how severe the acne is. Very bad acne can cause scars which never disappear, plus it is socially inhibiting and stressful for the sufferer, hence the importance of prompt treatment.
What can make acne worse?
- Squeezing and picking at the spots
- Chemicals, grease and damp in your working environment
- Having menstrual periods
- Reactions to medicines
- Wearing too much make-up
How can you take care of acne at home?
By washing twice daily with a mild cleanser – but do NOT use an exfoliator as this may irritate the skin further. Keep hair clean and off your face and do not pick at the pimples. Avoid extreme cold and heat. Do not use lots of make-up especially oily foundations which may worsen the pimples. As with everything a healthy lifestyle is important; make sure that you eat well and drink plenty of water.
What treatments are available?
There are many products available to treat acne at home including Clearasil, Freederm, Clean & Clear, and Quinoderm that are very effective in most mild to moderate cases of acne. By combining these products available in our pharmacy with a good skincare regime and not picking or picking spots, most people can successfully keep their acne under control.
For those with moderate acne our Online Doctor can supply topical treatments that are applied directly to the skin, including Skinoren cream, Dalacin T solution and Differin cream. We can also supply the antibiotic treatment Tetralysal, which contains lymecycline. These are all prescription strength medications that may be more effective than those available in the pharmacy. If you have tried over-the-counter medications to no avail, consult our Online Doctor who will be please to assist.
Can acne scars ever be removed?
Unfortunately sometimes acne can cause scars or marks to be left on the skin, especially it spots are picked. The scars sometimes caused by acne can be removed by dermabrasion or laser treatment, which are treatments that are carried out by a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. For less serious scars and marks caused by acne you may wish to try Bio-Oil, it has been shown to be highly effective in improving the appearance of scars and marks. It is available in our ‘Skin & Scalp’ section in our Online Pharmacy.