Acne is a very common skin condition which mostly affects teenagers and younger adults. In some circumstances it can persist much further into adulthood. Acne can mostly be found on the face, chest and back. Your skin has tiny holes called pores that get blocked by internal and external causes such as oil, bacteria, dead skin cells, and dirt. When these pores get blocked a pimple or “zit” can form. Acne can be mild or moderate to severe.

There are many types of acne which include pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, nodules and cysts. Acne usually develops in puberty when the surge of hormones can trigger oil production in the skin. Hair follicles and pores can become clogged or blocked causing pimples.

Mild acne is perfectly normal but moderate to severe acne may need treatment as it can lead to discomfort or scarring. These physical symptoms can lead to low self esteem. Acne can also lead to acne scars. The good news is treatments are now available to manage or treat acne. The treatment of acne may range from topical creams, certain cleaning regimes, or oral medications depending on the severity.

There are many myths about acne, so it’s important to receive appropriate medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

If you suffer from acne and would like to discuss treatment options contact one of our medical doctors to discuss.

Causes of Acne

  • Excess oil production.
  • Clogged hair follicles.
  • Bacteria.
  • Inflammation.

Symptoms of Acne

  • Blackheads and whiteheads.
  • The formation of papules which are small, red, tender bumps.
  • Pimples (pustules), which a red bumps with pus at the tip.
  • Nodules that form as large, solid, painful lumps under the skin.
  • Pus-filled lumps under the skin (cystic lesions).

Things that Worsen Acne

  • A poor diet does not cause acne, but can worsen it. Reducing carbohydrates such as bread and chips may help.
  • Stress does not cause acne, but may make it worse.
  • Certain medications such as drugs containing corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium may worsen acne.

When to See a Medical Doctor

  • If you have severe acne.
  • If self care and lifestyle adjustments have not reduced your moderate to severe acne.
  • If your acne is causing low self esteem.
  • If you are an older adult and have a sudden onset of severe acne.