A closer look at acne

Treating acne

Acne is a skin problem that usually starts in the teenage years. Skin becomes greasy, skin pores become blocked and whiteheads, blackheads, pimples or cysts can develop.

Acne usually gets better with time, though may take some years to resolve.

Causes of acne

  • Acne is common in teenagers because of the normal hormonal changes occurring at that age.
  • There may be a hereditary factor making it more common in some families.
  • In some girls, testosterone levels may be too high, so if acne is severe this possibility may need to be investigated by a doctor.
  • Acne can be made worse by some drugs, such as steroids and anti-epilepsy pills, and some birth control (contraceptive) pills.
  • Women may find acne gets worse around the time of their period.

Treating acne

Treatments that are applied to the skin (topical treatments) are usually recommended at first. Some of these are available from your local Life Pharmacy without a prescription. If your acne is severe, it's best to talk with a doctor first who may prescribe a medicine for you or refer you to a skin specialist (dermatologist).

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