Acne. What causes acne? Formation of Skin Pimples and Acne

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1 Acne Facts & Fixes

2 Acne Acne is the most common skin disease, affecting 85% of Australians aged years old. Very few people manage to escape their teenage and young adult years without some pimples and blackheads. Acne often clears spontaneously. For some young people, acne however, is a far more serious problem, with the possibility of permanent physical scarring and emotional effects. What causes acne? Acne happens when the pores in the skin become blocked. Hormones make the oil glands produce more oil (sebum) and the skin cells become sticky. The oil and sticky cells then block the pore. A common bacteria called P.acnes builds up in the pore causing redness and inflammation, and you ve got acne. The face, neck, chest, shoulders and upper back are the areas mainly affected by acne because they have the highest number of oil glands. Acne usually starts at puberty when increased levels of sex hormones (known as androgens) cause an increase in the size and oil production of glands. If you have a family history of acne, it may also increase your chances of developing acne. Formation of Skin Pimples and Acne 1. Healthy hair follicle 2. Pore becomes blocked Sebaceous gland that contain sebum Pore becomes blocked with sticky cells and sebum starts to accumulate

3 Zit myth busters Because it s so common, acne is the subject of much discussion - and many myths. By clearing up some of the common tales about acne, you can start to focus on clearing up your acne. No single food causes acne (but a low GI diet may help) You can t wash acne away - don t over wash Picking your pimples will make them worse and can lead to scarring Chill out. Stress can aggravate acne prone skin. 3. Bacterial accumulation 4. Follicle ruptures Bacteria accumulation leads to inflammation - pimple Follicle ruptures and a pustule of fluid is formed - acne

4 Acne treatment advice Most acne can be successfully treated. It is always best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find a treatment that will work best for you before spending lots of money on advertised quick fixes. Treating acne takes time and patience. In mild cases that may mean a couple of weeks but for the more severe forms of acne, it may require several months to clear your acne. The upside is you ll see results along the way if you use your treatment as recommended by a health professional. All acne treatment should start with good skin care. A SIMPLE SKIN CARE ROUTINE The best skin-care routine is to follow these simple steps twice a day: Cleanse: Treat: Protect: Use a gentle skin cleanser and pat dry. Apply your acne treatment to the entire affected area. Finish with oil-free sunscreen during the day. If your skin is dry, add a non-comedogenic moisturiser.

5 Acne treatments - What really works? Mild acne can often be successfully treated with products available from your pharmacy such as benzoyl peroxide. GPs can prescribe products that attack the different causes of acne. They will often prescribe an antibacterial to clear up the inflammation or a topical retinoid that unblocks pores to prevent new acne forming. Products that combine different active ingredients, such as a topical retinoid and an antibacterial, may be more convenient to use as they attack many causes of acne at once and possibly clear your skin even faster. Sometimes antibiotic tablets can also be prescribed and some girls may get good results using hormone treatment such as the contraceptive pill. Depending on the treatment your doctor chooses, the cost may be subsidised by the government. For more severe acne that is still not improving, even using prescription medication, you may need to be referred to a dermatologist for further assessment and treatment.

6 Tips for managing acne If you use a moisturiser or make-up, make sure they are oil-free. Avoid oily sunscreens. Some products use the description 'non-comedogenic and/or non-acnegenic. This means they have been tested and shown not to worsen acne. Gently wash your skin morning and night, don t overdo it. Use a gentle, non-soap skin cleanser rather than scrubs. Irritating the skin can actually produce more acne. Don't squeeze white heads and red lumps. Squeezing can increase the severity and depth of acne spots, visibly worsening acne and increasing the risk of permanent scars. Check with your doctor or pharmacist whether any of your medications can worsen acne. Certain oral contraceptive pills and contraceptive implants, non-prescription drugs, illicit drugs (such as anabolic steroids) can also cause or worsen acne. Avoid direct ultraviolet light - either natural sunlight or from solariums. Many acne treatments make the skin more prone to sunburn. Sun protection should include the use of oil-free sunscreens. No acne treatment will work overnight, so don t try over-applying any product. Start gradually and if you experience any unwanted effects such as stinging, redness or dry skin talk to your doctor or pharmacist. They will advise how to reduce these effects and keep your treatment on track.

7

8 What should I ask my doctor? It can be a good idea to have a list of questions prepared to make the most of your time with your doctor. Below are some basic questions you may like to ask your doctor during your visit. What is the best treatment for the type of acne I have? What are the possible side effects of the medications you're prescribing and how can I manage these? Would changing my diet improve my acne? How long before my acne starts clearing up? When will you see me again to see whether my treatment is working? Do you recommend any changes to the over-thecounter products I'm using on my skin, including cleansers, lotions and cosmetics? Should I clean my face more often? If my acne improves, when should I stop using the medication? What can I do to prevent scarring?

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10 Acne advice for parents Acne has been around for generations, so the parents of teens and young adults with acne may also have had acne when they were young. In fact, children whose parents had severe acne are more likely to develop acne themselves. Attitudes and knowledge about acne have changed though. There is a better understanding now of how acne can impact on teenagers confidence and self-esteem. There is also a wider range of effective treatments available - both tablets and creams. No one has to put up with acne. Tips for parents Talk to your children, especially teenagers, about their acne and how it makes them feel. Resist the urge to tell teenagers they will grow out of their acne. They don t have to wait until then and in some cases, treatment shouldn t be delayed. Encourage young people to get skin and acne advice from reliable sources such as health professionals or independent information resources such as All About Acne. If over-the-counter products aren t controlling acne within 6-8 weeks, don t delay seeking medical advice. Reduce or stop treatment if it is significantly irritating the skin. Early and effective treatment of acne can help prevent psychological and physical scars. Remind teenagers to use their acne treatments exactly as recommended. This will help reduce the risks of any side effects and increase the likelihood of success.

11 Remember, acne doesn t have to be at the severe end of the spectrum to cause significant grief. Depression, anxiety, bullying and social exclusion are genuine issues for many teenagers. Acne certainly doesn t help.

12 Prepared with the expert advice of dermatologists from: For more advice or information about acne, visit Proudly sponsored by: Galderma June 2013 Galderma Australia Pty Ltd, 13b Narabang Way, Belrose, NSW 2085 ABN McK32211

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