Acne is almost a universal condition affecting nearly every teenager at some stage. When it progresses from more than the occasional pimple or extends into later life we consider it a medical condition. There are many types of acne and so assessment by a Dermatologist ensures the appropriate treatment is prescribed and tailored specifically to your situation. Our treatments include specialized face washes, gels and creams, systemic treatment (tablets) including antibiotics, hormonal treatment and medications (which can only be prescribed by a Dermatologist) as well as laser therapy and medical microdermabrasion.
Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin situation that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms.
Acne is the most common skin disease and affects 80% of all people at some time between age 11-30 years. It begins from age 10-13 at a time when a child is undergoing puberty. It therefore can have far-reaching psychological consequences as well as result in scarring and permanent disfigurement. Acne most commonly affects the face and can often affect the back and chest. There are many types of acne spots. The most common red spots are known as papules which can be tender.
Acne signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition:
- Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
- Blackheads (open plugged pores)
- Small red, tender bumps (papules)
- Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
- Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
- Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)
Four main factors cause acne:
- Excess activity of a type of hormone (androgens)
- Excess oil production
- Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
- Acne typically appears on your face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders because these areas of skin have the most oil (sebaceous) glands. Hair follicles are connected to oil glands.
Risk factors for acne include:
Age– People of all ages can get acne, but it’s most common in teenagers.
Hormonal changes- Such changes are common in teenagers, women and girls, and people using certain medications, including those containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium.
Family history-Genetics plays a role in acne. If both parents had acne, you’re likely to develop it, too.
Greasy or oily substances– You may develop acne where your skin comes into contact with oily lotions and creams or with grease in a work area, such as a kitchen with fry vats.
Friction or pressure on your skin– This can be caused by items such as telephones, cellphones, helmets, tight collars and backpacks.
Stress- Stress doesn’t reason acne, but if you have acne already, it may make it worse.