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Acne is a skin condition that affects a lot of people at some point in their lives. This condition causes spots to appear on the skin mainly the face but also on the back and chest.

These spots can appear as blackheads or whiteheads. They are inflamed pus filled pustules and cysts and can be long lasting usually resulting in scars.

What to do if you have Acne?

The first and most important thing is to keep the skin clean to avoid the spread of more spots. It is recommended to wash the skin areas which are affected twice a day and not to scrub too hard on the skin otherwise this can result in minor irritation of the skin affected areas.

Acne can be cured and kept under control with the right treatments if you consult a dermatologist or doctor. The treatments are available as creams, lotions and gels. These treatments are available at pharmacies and with the help of your pharmacist, you will be given the right treatment plan and products.

When to see your pharmacist, GP or Doctor?

If you feel that over the counter Acne products are not being very effective and if the Acne spots start developing into cysts or nodules then definitely consult your doctor to avoid them developing into unwanted scars. Please note that treatments can take up to 3 months to be effective so do not keep your hopes too high to yield overnight results. this is a very slow process and you will require a lot of patience during the treatment period.

Why Do I get Acne?

The first indication is Acne is directly related to hormone changes and puberty. Glands in the skin area produces excess oils known as sebum. This will result in blocked pores through which hairs grow causing blackheads and whiteheads. Bacteria that live on the human skin can also infect blocked follicle causing pus filed cysts. Acne can also be hereditary , that is it runs in the family and therefore it passes on.

It is not known yet if Acne is directly related to poor diet, poly hygiene or sexual activity.

Acne Facts

Acne is mostly common in teenagers and young adults. About 80% of people at the age of 11 to 30 are mostly affected. You will also see a majority of these people in between the age of 14 and 17 for girls and 16 to 19 on boys.

But Acne symptoms are known to improve as one gets older and is known to disappear once someone reaches the twenties.

What can make Acne Worse?

1. The progestogen-only contraceptive pill can worsen Acne.

2. Thick or greasy make up can be the cause of making Acne worse

3. Picking spots will cause further inflammation

4. Sweating heavily can cause blocking of pores

5. Tight clothing may encourage, like tight bra straps, tight collars may cause extra sweating and friction therefore making the condition worse

6. Anabolic steroids can make Acne worse

7. Too much sugar and milk may cause the condition to get worse

Can Acne return after successful treatments?

Yes, after your successful treatment if you stop, you may see acne flare up again. Therefore keep your treatment going even after the spots have cleared up or reduced. It is recommended to maintain treatment over a period of 4 – 5 years to keep acne away. Like mentioned above, it is usually in the twenties or late twenties that you may see improvements where acne will not persist due to ageing.