Have you ever had acne?
Today I thought I would have a quick chat to you about acne. As you know, acne affects so many adolescents and adults, and can be an annoying and painful condition. Not to mention the self-consciousness and low self-esteem it can cause when someone suffers from severe acne symptoms.
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders.
But I’m here to tell you that acne can be treated effectively by your GP or a dermatologist and you don’t need to suffer from this condition any more. Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of such problems. Effective treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one begins to go away, others seem to come up.
There are four main factors that can contribute to acne:
- Excess androgens (testosterone)
- Oil production
- Sweat and dead skin cells clogging the hair follicles
In addition, many patients ask me about the effects of diet and stress on acne.
Some studies do show that excess carbs and chocolate can make acne worse. Stress is also thought to make acne worse, although it’s not certain if it can actually “cause” acne. A healthy diet low in refined sugar is advisable for those suffering from acne.
Well, now we know what causes acne, we can talk about how to treat it!
So where do we start with treatment?
Some people have very mild acne and will respond well to over-the-counter treatments such as Benzyl peroxide and a good skin care regime.
One thing I emphasise with my patients is to be… patient. Acne treatment can take at least a few weeks, if not months to be effective. The results are worth it! There is no one size fits all when it comes to acne treatment.
Various acne treatments are available and they all have different actions on the skin. For example, they can unblock pores, control oil production, reduce bacteria or regulate hormone levels. The decision on which type of medication to use will depend not only on the extent and severity of the acne, but also the presence of scarring.
- Hormonal treatments
- Retinoid creams
- Combination treatments (often the most effective!)
Consistent use and excellent skin care including sunscreen and skin protection will ensure the best result possible.
If your acne is severe, you may need to see a dermatologist to assist with reducing acne scarring and preventing further outbreaks. Most cases of mild to moderate acne can be managed by your GP.
Please contact one of the amazing GPs using Medinet to ask about acne treatments that are tailored to your specific needs, and even get a referral to a dermatologist if required!
Medinet is here to support you on your journey to holistic and more informed health care, 7 days a week, and in the convenience of your own home.
Wishing you all the best,
Dr Sumeena Qidwai - Clinical Expert at Medinet Australia
Rhodes MyHealth Medical Centre
BSc(Med) MBBS FRACGP