Acne is a common skin condition which causes oily skin, redness and spots. It occurs mainly on the face, but can also be present on other parts of the body. Click2Pharmacy’s Online clinic can help you find the right treatment. Complete our FREE consultation today.
What Causes Acne?
Spots are thought to occur when the skin’s glands produce too much oil. This oil along with dead skin can cause the pores to become blocked which can produce (in order of severity):
- Blackheads- small dark coloured bumps
- Whiteheads- small round spots with a white fluid filled tip
- Papules- pink/red raised areas of skin
- Pustules- fluid filled sores (also known as pimples)
- Nodules- large painful bumps that are under the skin
- Cysts- tender pus filled bumps that occur deep under the skin
The three common areas where spots occurs are the face, back and chest.
It is thought that changes in hormonal levels can cause spots, which is why it is most common in teenagers. However, acne can occur at any age. Most spots in teenagers will clear up by the time they reach their mid-twenties. In a small percentage of people symptoms can persist into the late thirties. Adult acne also is more common in women than men due to the hormonal changes linked to the menstrual cycle.
It can also run in families, so if both parents have had it, then it is likely the children will get it too.
How to Treat Acne
Spots or zits is not a serious condition; however severe acne can cause scarring on the skin. Squeezing spots often contributes to scarring. People with severe acne can suffer from psychological issues.
Treatments should be done in Steps depending on severity and type of your acne:
STEP 1: Treatment for comedonal spots
First Line – A topical retinoid for comedonal acne
Differin – Adapalene
Epiduo – Benzoyl peroxide 2.5% and Adapalene
Azelaic acid gel (Finacea)
STEP 2: Treatment of mild to moderate spots with puss
Use a combination treatment – ideally with benzoyl peroxide with a topical retinoid or antibiotic cream/gel)
First Line – Epiduo gel (Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide)
Second line – Duac gel (Clindamycin and Benzoyl peroxide)
- Treclin gel (Clindamycin and Benzoyl Peroxide)
- Erythromycin combination – Aknemcyin plus solution
STEP 3: If spots are not responding to any of the above treatments or is more wide spread
A combination of oral antibiotic can be used with a retinoid cream or Benzoyl Peroxide. It is not recommended to use antibiotic creams/gels when using oral antibiotics.
Lymecycyline 408mg (Tetralysal capusles) – This is a good first line antibiotic – one daily dose
Doxycycline 100mg capsules – This is an alternative if the response to the above treatment is poor
How to manage spots
Alongside medication, self-care methods can also help reduce spots:
- Avoid tight restrictive clothing over areas where acne is present
- Wash and shower immediately if skin becomes sweaty from exercise
- Some makeup can make acne worse, try to use products that are oil free and don’t clog the pores (non comedogenic)
- Use mild, non comedogenic face and bodywash.
- Don’t be tempted to squeeze spots as this can cause scarring
Further information can be found by visiting our health advice centre:
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