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.
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?
With thanks to the Baker Street Medical Centre
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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