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Video

Hollyoaks Actress: When i get a spot, it’s not a spot it’s a person. It’s huge.

Hollyoaks Actor: Big killer zit

Girl 1: Something to pick but i don’t squeeze it’s disgisting.

Girl 2: I think the curse of being a teenager is spots

Hollyoaks Actress: And it’ll be somewhere really inappropriate, like there.

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Dr Dawn: There’s a lot of rubbish spouted about acne. So let’s take a look at the facts.

TEEN: I’ve been told that an unhealthy diet gives you spots.

Dr Dawn: A balanced diet will promote healthy skin but there is no scientific proof that ANY foods cause acne.

TEEN: If you’re unclean and don’t wash then you can get acne.

Dr Dawn: I recommend good hygiene, but dirty skin doesn’t cause Acne and in fact overzealous washing can make it worse.

TEEN: Sunbathing is a good way of getting rid of acne.

Dr Dawn: Ultraviolet rays may help clear some spots but sweating in the sun is likely to make your acne worse and too much sun exposure will damage your skin.

Acne occurs because of changes in hormone levels which is why teenagers are hardest hit and girls often find that their spots are worst just before a period.
The changes in hormones during puberty causes an oily substance in the skin called sebum to over-produce.With dead skin cells, sebum blocks hair follicles causing spots to form.The most common time for this to start is between 11 and 14 ñ though one in five adults suffer with acne too.And unfortunately it does tend to run in families. So if your Mum had it or brother’s got it ñ you’re 3 to 4 times more likely to suffer with acne yourself.

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Boy 1: I generally get them across the forehead or like down the nose and around the chin sort of area.

Girl 1: I get spots on my face and sometimes on my shoulders.

Girl 2: Celebrities don’t get spots and things. If you see them in magazines and they’ve got perfect skin so teenagers think they want to be like celebrities.

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Dr Dawn: I know it’s of little consolation – but you really aren’t alone with your problem. Some of the world’s most famous and stylish have suffered with acne. Acne usually clears up on its own over time; but how long varies.So don’t put off asking for treatment – there is lots of help available. For non-inflammatory acne, like black heads and white heads, try over the counter creams or gels. My favourites contain something called benzoyl peroxide.

For inflammatory acne, which is more red, bumpy and sore, prescription medication from your GP may be an option and the most commonly used are antibiotic creams or tablets. Women with acne may be prescribed a particular contraceptive pill which will regulate hormones and combat spots.
And in very severe cases when other treatments haven’t worked, your GP may refer you to a specialist who will decide whether you should have a more powerful drug called Roaccutane

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Boy 1: It can be quite embarrassing you feel very self concious of it and most people just see it and they don’t really care, and when you see it on other people you don’t care, but on yourself you can become very self concious about it.

Hollyoaks Actress 2: I was actually on TV in front of millions of people with full blown acne and that was very very very hard for me to do, but i did it and no one seemed to notice.

Girl 2: If i don’t wear make up i don’t feel very confident with myself. As long as i wear make up i’m fine.

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Dr Dawn: Pick make-up that’s oil free or water based and look for ‘non comedogenic’ or ‘non acnegenic’ on the labels. When you moisturise, use a light or oil free moisturiser. Gently remove all make-up before you go to bed and don’t pick or squeeze your spots; it not only makes them worse, it can leave you with permanent scars. And if after 2 months, you’re finding treatments aren’t working go back to your GP.

Read the video transcript

Am I Normal: Acne

Dr Dawn Harper looks at the ‘curse’ of being a teenager – acne. Dr Dawn’s guide examines the causes as well as the treatments available, whilst putting to rest some of the common myths surrounding spots and getting the opinions of teenagers around the country, as well as the cast of Hollyoaks.

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Explore Am I Normal? >

Am I Normal?: Sex And Relationships >
Am I Normal?: Mental Health >
Am I Normal?: Drugs And Alcohol >

If you think your child may be going through early puberty, check our guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

With thanks to:
Hollyoaks
University of Birmingham Hockey Club
Llanelli Youth Theatre
Tetbury Hospital

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Hello I need help with thing coming up on my daughter skin





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I'm 23 and have acne. I've been to see my doctor and they keep giving me different medication to try nothing is working. I've had acne since I was 14 and now it's making me feel down and upset. I don't like going out as people always make comments. I need help please





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Use which stick worked for me

Hi, I'm 15 and I have acne. I have tried everything and nothing seems to be working and I'm scared to go out and don't even like my girlfriend seeing me like it. What can I do?





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I found sudocrem works well as it dries out the acne

Hi I went to the doctor and they prescribed me a cream that works so well and quickly that you just apply once at night

I have suffered with severe acne for 4 years and a dermatologist has prescribed me with roacitain (not sure how to spell it) this will treat most of it, but the best solution my dermatologist had me try was using prescribed sun bed sessions within my hospital. It is worth going to see a dermatologist it is the best thing I ever did I have now regained all self confidence. I hope this helps

Sudocrem worked for me.

My daughter just entered her teens and on came the acne. She had tons on her forehead and hairline. We tried spot treatment, noxema, oxy, etc. and nothing worked fast or well. Figured we try the Citrus Clear products more before seeing a dermatologist. Glad we did because Citrus Clear did the trick! Saw big results overnight! Was 90% better day 2 and has remained under control (when used consistently). She has very sensitive skin and Citrus Clear products did not make her turn red, itch or dry out. It's given her self esteem a much needed boost.





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I to have acne all on my forehead and my hairline above my ears and is so embarissing and painful I don't know what to do because it looks like I have chicken pox does anyone know of any low cost treatment that actually works ?

hi i get small red lumps/spots on my arms and back im 13 and i worry to much about it what do you think it is because im so worried!





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I'm 15 and I have that as well, it's called keratosis pilaris, it's common and harmless and affects one in three people in the uk so don't worry:)

Could be eczema. I've always had this. Apparently you can eventually grow out of it or it fades as you get older. Use moisturiser and go to a doctor to see if you need a steroid cream and for advice.

Hi I've had bad acne since 11years of age now I'm 13 and its worse than ever. I have tried creams facial masks and scrubs.Also I changed shampoo and tied my hair back at night but nothing is working. How do I get rid of them or reduce thee amount.





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I have had acne since the age of 10 and I am now 14 i tie my hair back everyday and to have tried facial creams and nothing works. It is so embarissing I really need to know how to get rid of it to help me !

Hi Rochelle I'm no good at computers and don't know how to reply directly to you. I posted that comment in April and I have noticed a big different with my acne. I've been consistent with my zynerit and stopped using my acnecide as it burned my face and made it dry (so putting makeup on for work and social occasions was a nightmare) now my acne has faded a little bit but i still have a few scars and craters on the side of my face. I also use tea tree masks and mud masks to deep cleanse and tighten my pores and use nivea cream after my zynerit has dried on my face to keep it moist. Tips - use a concealer under your make up. Dab your makeup on, dont rub it in.. even though mine are not as visible as they used to be, they are more skin coloured and i barely have any spots with heads now. Plus the purpley/red colour has faded... just hoping they will fade now and don't worry i always think my scars are worse than they are.





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Why do j have sudden acne breakouts? One day ill have completely clear skin and the next day I look like I have chicken pox! Its really depressing on breakouts and most the time I break out on days where pics are ljkely to be taken! I drink about 1.5-2 litres of water a day and use Quinoderm 2 times a day. Please please PLEASE help me! X





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If quinoderm doesn't work try not using it. Keep drinking water and try splashing your face with cold water in the morning and before bed. Also make sure you have clean towels.

Hey im 20 years old. Just wandering how i can get rid of My acne/ scars, there manly on my temple And cheeks on both sides. Ive tried all sorts Of cleansers, proactive, clean And clear those Are to name some, worst thing is! If i use the cleanser for one day the next day My chin goes dry, and very dark!? I dont know why? PLEASE HELP ME. I need answers to ashamed to go docs :/





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Hi, i have really bad acne on both sides of my face, one side being more severe than the other but i am really low in confidence and self-esteem and have suffered with this for ages!! the spots are sometimes painful and red and even sometimes look purple and bruised.. everywhere else on my face is fine but on each side they have clumped together making it look more like boils than spots. they also get heads and feel massive and near enough nothing can cover them... I am 17 and have recently tried creams(benzoyle acnecide) and zynerite which did improve them but not clear them up... its driving me insane.. please help.





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Hi Lauren, I have EXACTLY the same thing, in exactly the same areas. I couldn't have described it any better than how you have. I have no idea if it's a really bad acne outbreak or what... but I've had it for at least a couple months. I've never had anything this bad before either, or that looked like this. Have you been able to figure out what it is??


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