Acne is a specific skin disorder, most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults; an age when people are very self-conscious about how others view their appearance. While most young people will experience the occasional “pimple” outbreak, this is not the same as ongoing acne.
Acne is a disorder that causes pimples, blackheads and cysts (lumps below the skin surface) that can be embarrassing and result in social withdrawal. The area of skin involved in acne is usually the face, back and upper chest. There are many myths surrounding this condition, such as dietary causes and treatments for which there is no clear evidence. However, we do know that ongoing acne:
has a genetic component
is related to the sex hormones (androgens)
is caused by blockage, inflammation and infection of the oil (sebum) producing glands that drain into the hair follicles (skin pores)
if left untreated, severe acne causes permanent scarring
Over the years acne treatments have greatly improved, and a person with bad acne these days should not end up with severe scarring - as long as they see their doctor and receive treatment in the early stages of the disorder.
How We Care
Our doctors have seen a lot of acne and are well aware that, for the person who has this condition, it is not trivial and can be quite disabling.
Where self management options have not been successful, our doctors may recommend the following treatments, based on an assessment of the severity of acne:
Face and body washes with the active ingredient benzyl peroxide
Prescribe anti-inflammatory creams and antibiotics
For women, anti-androgenic hormonal contractive pills are often effective at reducing acne as well as acting as an effective contraceptive
In cases that don’t respond to the above treatments, the doctor can refer you to a dermatologist who can prescribe a special acne medication. In Australia this is only prescribed after specialist referral because, though very effective, it has the potential for more serious side effects.
If you are suffering from on going Acne, make an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss the treatment options available to you. These days no one should end up with facial scarring from poorly managed acne.