Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting millions of people in the UK during some point in their lives.
It causes the development of spots on the skin, which can vary from relatively small blackheads and whiteheads to large, inflamed, pus-filled spots called pustules.
Acne tends to develop during puberty and affect the face, back and chest area. While in most people, acne will clear up by their early twenties, in some cases, it can persist for much longer.
Acne is caused by the stimulation of oil-producing glands within your skin and tends to develop in response to hormonal changes that take place during puberty.
In some people these ‘sebaceous’ glands are more sensitive to testosterone, which the body produces more of - in both men and women - during puberty. This causes them to produce more oil than normal and can prevent dead skin cells from being shed properly.
These two factors interact to cause a build-up of spots, which make the ideal breeding ground for the bacteria which causes acne - leading to it to multiply rapidly, triggering inflammation and causing inflamed or pus-filled spots to develop.
While acne is easy to diagnose because of the characteristic spots that develop, there are multiple types and you’ll need to speak to a doctor to find out which kind you have.
Although there’s currently no cure for acne, there’s a range of treatments that can be highly effective in managing the condition, prevent new spots from forming and minimise the danger of scarring.
In severe cases, a doctor can prescribe medication like antibiotics, retinoids and isotretinoin to help. However, those with an especially large number of inflamed or painful spots may need to be referred to a specialist dermatologist.
If you’re suffering with severe acne, our GPs can diagnose the type of acne you have and if needed, prescribe medication, advise on the best acne treatment or refer you on to a specialist for further specialist treatment.Talk to a Doctor About Acne