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Video

Dr Christian:
We’ve been getting hundreds of questions to the Embarrassing Bodies website, and one question that comes up seemingly more than others is home treatments, ‘what can we do at home to help our acne?’ Well, the truth is, an awful lot. Just washing your face in the morning and the evening to help strip away the oils is really important. But nothing too aggressive; don’t wash over the top, otherwise you’re going to dry out your skin and give yourself other problems. The other thing is there are a lot of treatments available over the counter that help to reduce oil, reduce bacteria and remove all the built-up dead cells that block pores, causing you spots in the first place.

The next thing is, when should you visit the doctor? That’s the other question that you guys want to know. I think you need to remember that acne can scar. Bad acne can leave you with holes, pock marks in your face, and those will stay for life. So if you think your acne is severe enough to be doing this, then please, go and see your doctor.

Another very common question, I know that a lot of you do this, is sunbathing and acne. ‘Does sunbathing improve my acne?’ Well, on the surface it covers up your acne, it gives you a tan and so it hides your spots. But actually it’s not a treatment, it doesn’t cure acne, it doesn’t make it better and in fact, all it’ll do in the long term is damage and prematurely age your skin. So, don’t do it.

Another really common question on the site is, what are those little pimples that we get on the back of our arms? Teenage girls get them, boys get them, even adults get them, they’re very very common and they seem to worry you. So, what are they? Well, it’s a condition called keratosis pilaris and it’s got absolutely nothing to do with acne. You can have them and never get a spot on your face at all. The bad news is, there is no known cure. It’s probably related to hormonal changes, which is why teenagers get them so much.

There’s another question that seems to be cropping up an awful lot, and that is what do you do about spotty bottoms? Lots of you seem to get spots on your bum which distress you, how can you get rid of them? Well, it’s not necessarily acne that gives you spots on your bottom. More commonly, it’s because you’re sitting on your bum a lot, so there’s a lot of friction, there’s a lot of rubbing, and you wear tight underwear or you wear tight jeans, which causes you to sweat. And sweat builds up, it blocks pores, bacteria can grow and that’s why you get spots. So, what do you do? You need to wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting clothing, particularly in hot weather.

Read the video transcript

Doctor Responses: Acne

Dr Christian answers your most frequently asked questions about acne such as: What are the available treatments? What can you do about spots on your bottom? What are the pimply like spots that appear on your upper arms?

Explore Am I Normal? >

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With thanks to the Baker Street Medical Centre

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For more information on the survey and study, please visit www.acnepsp.org

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

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Comments and Questions

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, I'm 46 healthy, reasonably fit and slim, I am a driving instructor so spend all day sitting down, my problem is I keep getting spots on my bum, I have tried all the spot creams and sprays on the market as I have tried most of the scrubs and washes also. Have tried 100% cotton underwear, thongs and even commando, I drink water and eat healthy foods and keep myself clean, I don't get the spots anywhere else. Any help appreciated. Simon.





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I have suffered with spots on my bottom for years! Some are itchy and turn into boils, but others are small and red! All of the itchy ones leave scars which don't fade! Drs have given me creams, medicated washes but nothing works. Please help it's getting me down and is so embarrassing!





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Hi My daughter is 18 year old and has bad case of acne on face and she is embarrassed and has lost self confidante over last 2 year. She don't go out any where and don't like going to school. Please can you recommend me a very doctor who can help u's. I can send photo if required we don't mind coming and see you. Regards bhundia





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IM 34 and try everything still getting spots getting me down help what can i do get me so low want to hide away or end it fed up in skinny diet good doctor says hormone just got to stage had enough love something to change my life with these spots come up





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Spotty bum that flares up and becomes itchy from time to time but for no obvious reason, I've lived like this for years and am sick of it. Can anyone help?





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Hi, I suffered bad acne in my teenage years and now have scarring, mostly on my left cheek. I get the occasional breakout on my chin and my doctor thinks dianette is the answer. However I don't want to go on the pill. I am due to get married early next year and would love help with the scarring. Can you recommend any treatment for me? I am prepared to pay for laser if I thought it would work.





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I have pimples on my butt and some on my face. I also have started getting them on my arms legs and various other places. Its almost like I have all over body acne..





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I had this on my bum for awhile now but I'm always embarrassed about it. There these little black dots on my bum and there's some bigger ones. They don't itch nor hurt. I just don't like them and I'm tired of feeling insercured about my bum. Like I try to hide it when I change i front of people. Now it's getting worse they're going down the sides of my thighs and the back of them look like big red bumps. I'm to embarrassed to see a doctor about this , so I came here to ask questions. Please help me , I've tired scrubbing and lotioning but it doesn't do anything. Also I had have pimples to , so I just think that there back heads on my bum but I don't believe so. I try popping one and nothi came out.





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See your Doctor! You may be embarrassed but you doctor wont - I promise they have seem much worse!!! You can request a same sex Doctor if you feel more comfortable, or even right down your question and just hand it over!! You sound like you need antibiotics and you cant get them any other way. Good luck!!

When I shave too close I get boils, but I need a close shave. Was on one round of minocycline. Would a different antibiotic be better? What should I do...please help. I think I have razor bumps and folliculis. Thanks.





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Am a 22 male I've also suffer with acne tried several forms of medication At the present moment I have been given Roatcctane soft capsule which I take 60mg of, I know there would b side effect, but the toll it's taking on my face, which is causing swelling very red and dry & cracking of the skin, but as only taking the treatment 3 weeks should I b worried?? My mother keeps onto me about going back 2 my gp as she think I may have a reaction 2 the medication?? please help





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