The truth about acne

September 12, 2019 BY


There are so many myths about acne that it’s hard to know who and what to believe. But what’s most important for you to know is that acne is a treatable medical condition.

You don’t have to suffer in silence or wait until you “grow out of it.” The first step is asking for help.

What causes acne?

Usually starting in your teenage years, hormones make the glands at the bottom of the hairs on your face, back, chest and/or neck produce too much oil (called sebum), which can block the pores, causing further oil build-up and irritation.

Bacteria can grow in the trapped oil and irritate your skin. The result can vary from mild symptoms of whiteheads and blackheads, to moderate-severe forms of acne which include red bumps (papules), yellow pus-filled spots (pustules) or deep cysts.

Some basic truths about acne causes –

Acne is not caused by dirty skin. In fact, too much washing can irritate your skin. However, it is important to maintain a good skin care regime to help minimise flare-ups and treat mild forms of acne.

Chocolate and other “junk” foods do not cause acne. Although it is always best to eat a balanced diet for optimal health, having a good diet alone will not “cure” acne. Acne is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

Who will get acne?

Acne affects 85 per cent of Australians aged 15-24 years old. For many, acne is mild, clearing spontaneously by the mid-20s. However, for others, acne can be a more serious condition that can potentially cause permanent physical and emotional effects and requires medical treatment.

Acne tends to run in families, so if mum or dad had it, your chances of developing acne are higher.

What should I do if I have acne?

You should not feel shame or embarrassed about suffering from acne – it is a medical condition; one that can be treated. You do not need to suffer.
If you have not started treatment yet, then see your local Direct Chemist Outlet pharmacist for advice.

If your current treatment has not significantly improved your skin in 8-12 weeks, then see your doctor for further treatment advice or referral to a dermatologist.

Things you can do to help your acne include:

– Use skin products labelled “non-comedogenic” – this means that they have been tested and proven not to clog pores or worsen acne.
– Take a zinc supplement – this may help to improve symptoms of mild-moderate acne.
– Live a healthy lifestyle – eat a low GI diet, exercise regularly, be smoke free, practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress and maintain a healthy weight.

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An important note to parents:

Studies have shown that parents underestimate the impact that acne can have on their child. Even mild acne can have significant negative consequences – affecting confidence, social development and mental health.

You can help by providing support, and speaking to a pharmacist, GP or dermatologist for treatment advice. Remember – acne is a medical condition that can be treated. Don’t let them suffer, get help, and get rid of the zits.

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