Acne Guide :

Do you suffer from acne?

What causes acne? Does eating chips cause acne? How do you treat acne scars? Why do teenagers get acne? These are a few of the many questions people ask about this unwelcome condition.

Let’s be honest: no-one likes acne. But it is a very common condition which affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. The main question is that of how you deal with it.

In response to this, we have put together a comprehensive yet easy to understand guide about acne which is designed to help you learn more about acne. This discusses all aspects of this condition with the main purpose of educating you about acne and how it can be treated.

This guide is structured as follows:

A sympathetic and understanding approach to acne

Basically, this guide deals with all things to do with acne in a sympathetic and understanding manner. Acne can be upsetting and for many people this causes them to become depressed as a result. The important thing is not to let it do so which we realise is easier said than done. Your GP can help in this aspect and we hope that this guide will do so as well.

If you are suffering from acne then this guide will provide you with enough information about the causes of this skin condition and more importantly, what forms of treatment is available. This also includes learning to control your acne.

Find out more in our about acne section.

Acne: fact or fiction

There are several myths surrounding the causes of acne which include eating greasy food, wearing make-up or not looking after your skin properly. But many people still believe these myths and wrongly assume that eating chocolate or chips, not washing your face properly or being stressed causes acne.

There may be an element of true in some of these myths but generally these are unfounded.

So what acne myths are there? Find out more in our popular acne myths section.

For both adults and young people

You may be the parent of a teenage son or daughter who has developed acne and are, understandably, upset by this condition. Acne is very common in young people and to help you with this, we have included a section on this which is specifically aimed at teenagers.

Find out more in our acne and teenagerssection.

It is fair to say there is no ‘cure’ for acne but it does tend to resolve itself once you reach your twenties. But, some people find that it persists even into their thirties!

This guide concentrates on common acne which is the one many people get in their teens. However there is another type of acne called ‘acne rosacea’which is also known as ‘adult acne’. But even though it looks similar to common acne it is in fact, a different type of skin condition. There is a short description of this within the acne types section.

Acne can continue into adulthood but there are a wide range of over-the-counter products which are designed to deal with this. These are usually effective at stopping new spots from forming and the risk of scarring. But if these fail to work then medical intervention via your GP is needed.

Psychological impact of acne

Acne results in unsightly spots, pimples or blackheads which mainly appear on the face although they can also develop on parts of the body. There is nothing worse than attending an interview or an important event with a face full of unsightly spots and feeling embarrassed about this on top of nervousness as well.

We tend to only think of the physical effects of acne but the emotional side is as equally as important. Acne spots or blackheads look unsightly and in severe cases, can result in scarring which is a source of distress to the sufferer. This is even worse for a teenager as they are often self-conscious about their appearance!

Someone with acne requires sympathy and support to prevent them from becoming distressed about their condition. In these cases, professional help is needed.

This is discussed in more detail in our emotional effects of acne section.

Acne scars

Acne is very noticeable when it develops on the face but outbreaks can occur on the body as well. Yes, some people are unfortunate in that they experience a crop of spots or pimples on an area of their body such as the back or the shoulders although these are hidden by their clothing.

Nevertheless this doesn’t mean that they are any less annoying and in severe cases can lead to scarring. This and scarring are covered in the body acne and acne scars sections of this guide. The one section we haven’t mentioned and often the most important is that of acne treatment. If you are suffering from acne then your main concern will be that of what product to choose to treat this condition.

A range of treatment options for acne

There are a range of options available to you which include self-help treatment using an over the counter product such as ‘Clearasil Max’, available at your local chemist. Another option is to wash your skin twice a day with a special cleanser and avoid certain foods which may trigger your acne.

More serious forms of acne require prescription drugs via your GP. These include oral antibiotics, creams/lotions which contain an anti-microbial and oral contraceptives (women only). Severe acne cases may be referred to a dermatologist.

An increasingly popular treatment is that of laser resurfacing which along with intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy claim are seen as effective ways of dealing with acne although opinion is still divided over these.

These and other forms of treatment are discussed in greater detail in our acne treatment section.

Acne affects nearly every person at some time in their lives which leads one to ask if acne can be prevented.

The answer to that is no. It cannot be prevented but there are ways of minimising the amount of acne you have which keeping your skin clean, eating a healthy diet, exercising and choosing make-up which doesn’t clog the pores of your skin.

These are discussed further in our preventing acne section.

What else does this acne guide contain?

We have included the ever popular Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which contains a list of commonly asked questions about acne. This is accompanied by a glossary of medical terms related to acne which are used throughout this guide. We have tried to avoid jargon where possible but where it has been used there will be an explanation of this either accompanying it or in the glossary.

Finally, there is a page of links to useful organisations and bodies related to acne.

Learn more about acne...

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