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What is Acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point in theri lives. It can cause spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that's hot or painful to touch. For more information on Acne, the NHS offers a detailed breakdown of how to control your breakouts.
Acne generally affects the face, however it can also affect the back, chest and neck. It is very common amongst teenagers or adolescnets, however it more often than not is self liminiting and will resolve on its own.
What Makes Acne Worse?
Acne can be worsned by a variety of factors, some of which include:
- Not washing straight after execise (build up of dirt and sweat)
- Washing too often, this will strtip the sking of the protective and natural oils it produces
- Squeezing or picking your spots makes your acne much worse because it draws inflammatory cells to the area where acne exists and causes more swelling and aggravation
- Menstruation or periods can worse acne
- Side effects of certain medications
- Using too much makeup
How Do I Best Treat Acne?
Acne can be broken down into 4 different categories, minimal, mild, moderate and severe acne. The type of treatment you take to cure your acne will be largely dependent on how severe your acne is.
Minimal and Mild Acne
Minimal acne can be described as predominantly greasy skin with a few black or white heads on the forehead, nose and/or chin. Minimal acne can also lead to papules but not often.
For mild acne, it is recommended that you should be treated with benzoyl peroxide (acnecide), which can be purchased over the counter to help prevent your acne. This treatment should be used for a bare minimum of 6-8 weeks and for the full effect, you should expect it to take 4-6 months.
If you do not see any positive effects after 6-8 weeks of using benzoyl peroxide (acnecide) or if you have several blackheads and whiteheads but they are not red and inflamed then trying a prescription strength retinoid would be useful such as Differin.
Other effective treatments for acne are combintaion products which will contain benzoyl peroxide and either an antibiotic or retinoid such as EpiDuo (benzoyl peroxide 2.5% and adapalene 0.1%)
If you have more than 30 spots, an oral antibiotic acne treatment to help cure your acne is required. Antibiotics like lymecycline should be considered for the most effective results.
If you have more than 125 spots, cysts or scarring then it is recommended that you see a doctor/dermatologist for a consultation to get a better understanding of the type of treatment you might need.
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