What is acne?
Acne (or acne vulgaris) is the medical term for spots. As well as on the face, acne can appear on the arms, neck, chest and back, and also behind the ears and in the groin area. It is one of the most common skin conditions and can affect people of all ages. The spots can be large, red and sore and usually appear during puberty (between the ages 12 and 14). Unfortunately, even after acne has cleared up, it can leave scarring and pockmarks to the skin.
The main symptoms of acne include red inflamed spots, blackheads, white heads, greasy skin, spots with pus in them and painful spots deep within the skin.
As well as being unsightly, acne can be sore and painful.
Acne is usually caused by an overproduction of sebum in the sebaceous glands in the skin. Sebum is an oily liquid that the sebaceous gland produces and which passes through hair follicles to the skin’s outer surface (the epidermis). When your pores block up with grease this can result in red spots and blackheads.
Acne is not caused through people not washing properly or through being dirty. That said, there are lots of facial washes you can buy to help improve your skin’s condition.
You can make a simple self-diagnosis of mild acne and then try to treat the condition at home yourself through buying over-the-counter products. But if your acne is severe, then go to your GP who will carry out a diagnosis by making a short, simple inspection of your skin. You may be referred to a dermatologist.
Effect on your life
Acne can have a negative impact upon your self-esteem and self-confidence, with many sufferers reporting feelings of social inferiority and general insecurity about their appearance and also their ability to participate in everyday life. In fact, many dermatologists and social psychologists worldwide agree that, compared to acne, there is no other single condition which can cause such psychological trauma.
If you find facial washes are not sufficient, your GP may prescribe an antibiotic cream which you can use each day. If this is not successful you may be prescribed antibiotic tablets for a couple of months. The good news is that, six months after completing the course of antibiotics, most people can be clear of acne for the rest of their lives.
How Chemist Online can help
We have available a range of products which can help you to achieve clearer skin, such as OXY Anti-Spot Balm which is a moisturising balm for use after washing to help prevent spots and blackheads. We can also recommend Clean & Clear® Exfoliating Daily Wash which contains gentle micro-beads for effective cleansing of the skin.
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