It is characterised by the appearance of pimples, blackheads and whiteheads on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. It mainly occurs in adolescence, affecting approximately 80% of teenagers but can affect people in their 20’s and 30’s too.
Acne results from blockages in the hair follicles caused by too much sebum ( oil ) being produced in the sebaceous glands, usually triggered by hormonal changes.
- seborrhoea ( increased oil-sebum production )
- pustules and possibly scarring.
Stress may increase the severity of an attack but there does not appear to be a definitive link between high sugar foods such as chocolate and the appearance of acne. Due to the hormonal changes , acne may be more evident around the time just before a woman’s period.
- Medicated washes used twice daily can help to control excessive oil build up as well as killing the bacteria.
- Local treatments including Benzoyl Peroxide can help decrease excessive oiliness by clearing excess skin and also reduce the presence of bacteria.
- Antibiotic treatments prescribed by your doctor include both oral medicines and topical preparations.
- Your Haven pharmacist can advise you on the particular medication you have been prescribed in terms of optimal usage of the medication and precautions to be aware of.
- Cleanse the area morning and night with a mild cleanser
- Use water based moisturisers (ideally keep make up off your face)
- Keep hair clean and off the face
- Good diet, regular exercise and plenty of water are essential
- Aim to reduce stress
- Try to keep your hands off the face. Hands should be washed frequently.
- Wear loose clothing if acne is affecting the torso to avoid sweating
- Don’t pick at spots, this can lead to unnecessary scarring
- Follow any prescribed medication for the full course
- Your acne is severe
- If a couple of months of over-the-counter (non-prescription) treatments, haven’t helped, then prescribed treatments must be considered
- The acne appeared after starting a medication. Some medications can result in acne or similar symptoms. It is important to visit your GP if this is the case
- If spots are becoming larger and more severe it is important to consider prescription treatments before acne begins to scar the skin
- If your acne is affecting your self-esteem. Having clearer skin could ease embarrassment and self-consciousness related to acne.