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Acne tends to start at puberty and leads to greasy skin and ‘spots’. People may feel bad about themselves because of the way their skin looks, often at a time when they’re already vulnerable.
Acne affects more than 8 out of 10 teenagers to some degree, and more frequently boys. Around one in three teenagers have acne bad enough to need treatment. In some women, acne is more common around the time of their periods.
Acne is caused by inflamed skin glands on your face and upper trunk. In rare cases, acne may be caused by an underlying medical condition, such as polycystic ovary disease (PCO) or other hormonal disorders. It’s a myth that stress or certain foods (such as chocolate) cause acne – and acne is certainly not due to a lack of cleanliness!
In 7 out of 10 people, acne stops within five years – but some people may suffer lifelong.
Acne is a long-term condition that may need immediate treatment for treating severely affected skin, and maintenance therapy to keep spots from recurring.
How can I avoid triggers? Suggested lifestyle changes
It may be possible improve symptoms by making a few simple changes; these self-help techniques may be useful:
How do I treat?
Although acne can’t be cured, it can be controlled with treatment. Several creams, lotions and gels for treating spots are available at pharmacies.
When should I seek advice?
Seek advice from your pharmacist or GP if initial treatment with over the counter preparations doesn’t work for you, if acne significantly impairs your quality of life, or if any of the following warning symptoms are present: