Stephens College

Acne Problems

As a young adult my skin caused me more problems than I could handle, with many spot breakouts and forever returning blackheads (that I still suffer from until now), my skin became irritated and embarrassing.  Acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin problems can be very problematic for some people, especially if it is very noticeable. Some skin problems attack each person differently and some are more serious than others. But do not worry, you can still have a consultation and be offered a prescription for your certain condition, without being embarrassed to go see a doctor.

Today we will talk about acne. The reason why acne appears on the skin is over creation of Sebum- an oily substance that is naturally created by hormone change in your body that moves upwards to the skin surface that mixes with dead skin cells also found on your body ultimately blocking your pores and hair follicle with a plug like substance. Contrary to people’s opinions, acne is not a sign of uncleanliness and bad hygiene. It is what your body naturally produces and sheds. You can find out more about acne at this article.

It has been found that Acne can run in families, and you are more susceptible to get it if a parent suffered and you are susceptible to get more severe acne if both parents had it. It has also been proven that adult women are more susceptible to acne as hormones will continue to change in different situations. For example some women have a break out just before their period, sometimes pregnant women will also suffer from an acne breakout during the first trimester, others who may have polycystic ovary syndrome could suffer from acne as a symptom.

Most mild cases of acne can be treated with over the counter products that have an active ingredient of benzoyl peroxide. But some severe cases of acne may need to be treated over a period of three months with antibiotics that need a prescription to acquire. So if you are being treated, do not be concerned if treatment does not work straight away.

Treatments include:

-          Topical retinoid

-          Antibiotics tablets/ topical

-          Azelaic acid

-          Contraceptive pill

-          Isotretinoin tablets

We strongly recommend that you see your GP if you have acne as you may need a referral to a dermatologist – especially if you have scarring. There is a free online service where you can get the opinion of a doctor free of charge after uploading a photo on their website. They can also offer prescriptions online for less serious acne medications. If you are having problems getting to see your GP then this could be a good option – especially given that the initial consultation is free of charge.