Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that affects about 80% of people at some point in their lives.
It commonly occurs during puberty, but it can occur at any age. This is because the sebaceous glands which activate during puberty produce oil. These are stimulated by hormones produced by the adrenal glands to cause whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules.
According to the NHS, acne most commonly develops on the face. However, more than half of people with acne also present symptoms on the back and around 15% on the chest area. Acne is most common in girls from the ages of 14 to 17, and in boys from the ages of 16 to 19. Whilst it often disappears when a person is in their mid-20s, it can continue into later adult life.
Acne is known to run in the family, and episodes can also be caused by hormonal changes, which occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. As a result, there is a significantly higher prevalence in women than men later in life. Hormonal therapies can often benefit women with acne. Even if
you’re not sexually active, the combined oral contraceptive pill is known to help improve symptoms, although these benefits may take a year to become visible.
There are several self-help techniques to help with controlling acne:
- Don’t wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day.
- Remove make-up before bed.
- Shower following exercise.
- Wash hair regularly.
- Avoid using very hot and or very cold water.
- Don’t use toothpaste on the skin – although they contain antibacterial substances, it also contains substances that can irritate and damage the skin.
There are far more effective and safer treatments available.
Although it is tempting, try and avoid squeezing spots as it can cause scarring. It is important to remember acne is a chronic condition and cannot be cured. If you develop mild acne, you should speak to your pharmacist who will likely prescribe a variety of creams, lotions and gels. If your acne is severe, you may require a course of antibiotics or stronger creams.
To discuss a personalised plan for your acne treatment, please get in touch.
Blog Post Author: William Frederick Bolton