Acne is a very common inflammatory skin condition characterised by spots, blackheads and whiteheads. It often starts in early teens, for most people it tends to resolve by the late teens or early twenties, but it can last for longer and may develop for the first time in people in their late twenties or even the thirties. There are many types of acne your doctor will be able to tell you which type you have after examining your skin. The most common type is ‘acne vulgaris’.
Acne causes and triggers
- Acne bacterium (known as Propionibacterium acnes) lives on everyone’s skin, usually causing no problems, but in those prone to acne, the build-up of oil creates an ideal environment in which these bacteria can multiply. This triggers inflammation and the formation of red or pus-filled spots.
- Hormonal changes during puberty, menstrual periods and pregnancy.
- Greasy or oily cosmetics
It is important to take action to control acne as soon as it appears to avoid permanent scarring. Try not to pick or squeeze your spots as this usually aggravates them and may cause scarring. Remove make-up and cleanse your skin with a mild gentle Sulfate-free cleanser and water. Avoid scrubbing the skin as this will cause further irritation. Use products that are Oil-free or water-based