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Video

Dr Pixie:
OK, let’s get it straight from the start. Acne isn’t caused by bad diet, lack of hygiene, lack of exercise or even chocolate. It’s not infectious. Acne is a medical condition that occurs around puberty and 80% of teenagers will have some form of acne by the time they’re 18. Adults get it as well, and one in five of us will have acne in our 20s, 30s or 40s.

Acne can be really distressing. Sufferers can find themselves anxious, depressed, even suicidal. It is a medical condition and it shouldn’t’ be dismissed as a bit of teenage trouble. Acne is caused by the excessive production of an oily substance called sebum. This oily substance, together with dead skin cells, block pores and sweat glands and follicles causing spots to form.

Spots are most likely to appear on your face, your neck, your chest and your upper back. The good news is there are ways of treating these. The type of treatment you get depends on the type of acne you have. Mild acne, which usually are blackheads and whiteheads, can be treated by over-the-counter creams, gels or lotions. Red, angry lumpy acne which indicates inflammatory acne is most often treated by prescription medication in the form of antibiotics or for females, particular types of oral contraceptive pill. For very severe acne, Isotretinoin can be prescribed. This is a very potent drug so it’s only available from specialist skin clinics. Laser treatment is also available for acne. Studies have shown variable success rates with this and as it’s very much in its early stages it’s only presently available from private clinics.

There isn’t a quick fix for acne. Treatments take weeks if not months to become effective so be patient. In the meantime, don’t pick or squeeze your spots because this can result in scarring. And remember when your acne does clear up, which it will, you’ll want as pock-free skin as possible.

Read the video transcript

Quick Health Advice: Acne

Around 80% of teenagers will have some form of acne by the time they’re 18, and around 1 in 5 adults can also suffer in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. In this exclusive guide, Dr McKenna addresses the cause of acne and dispels many of the most popular myths about the condition. She also advises on the best treatments available, from over-the-counter creams, lotions and gels, to prescription medication and laser treatment. If spots have been the bane of your life, this video will reassure you that they’re not a permanent fixture.

Take part in phase two of a groundbreaking acne study by filling out a quick survey >

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

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

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I'm a 49 year old woman who has suffered back acne since my 20's. I don't suffer facial acne luckily but I am finding in recent months I'm even getting them on my chest and odd few on my stomach. I have been stressed this past few month that maybe the reason but even when I'm not I do tend to get them on my back. I have tried tea tree cream and various spot creams but they don't really help. My back is quite scarred and I get embarrassed in relationships and in summer when I can't wear tops that reveal my back. I've previously got tablets from my GP but it made me put weight on which I don't want either, I use shower gels, is there anything you suggest? Thanks





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I have terible acne and my medication doesnt work i take lymecycline 408mg and apply Epiduo one daily, i would like to know what you would recomend doing so that i could get rid of my acne because i have had it for over 4 years now and it still hasnt disapeard.





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I take the same tablets and it doesn't help me either. I would recommend visiting your GP and they will most likely refer you to a Dermatologist who is likely to put you on a stronger medicine that works much more efficiently, with the downside of more side effects. I am going back to my Dermatologist in September as I originally asked to continue the lymecycline for short period as it began to work but my spots have come back even worse. I know some other people that have been prescribed the stronger medicine and it has worked for them. I wish you luck in the quest to cure your acne!

Hi guys I've tried creams wahes etc from pharmacy tried antibiotics helped for short time but stained teeth yellow so had to pay to get teeth white arghh nothing really worked until I tried blue light treatment twenty minutes six weeks yep no spots my tip is to shop around for prices and don't get talked into other treatments like dermobrasion etc just stick to blue light its the best but you can't just come off antbiotics and have blue light cos it could make acne worse so like myself I had to wait 5 months bummer to get blue light as had to rid body of antibiotics as this now has been the cure I can state with everything I hold good in life if you got acne DONT TAKE ANTIBIOTICS GO FOR BLUE LIGHT TREATMENT IT WORKS AND NO SIDE EFFECTS ONLY THING IS MAKE SURE YOU GET QUOTES AND DONT PAY FOR CONSULTATION !!! Happy to share in 2015 no one has to put up with acne blucky Mickey





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Hi, I will be 21 this year and I have suffered with bad facial acne since I was 14. I have tried cleanser after cleanser. Anti - biotics and the pill. But my acne still won't go away, and its really downing because it effects me and my confidence. I mean it would start clearing away and my hopes get up that its finally a phase over but then i wake up and i've broken out like crazy.... Really would love some advice :/





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I have never suffered with spots on my face Iam 49 but over the last month I keep getting them on my face any answers why this could be





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I'm 26 and always suffered with a spotting bum since a Lil kid is they anything I could use to get rid of them





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Hi all most causes of spots acne etc is the shower gels & shampoos used. The reason for this is that it's gets clogged up in your pours and creates spots. I found washing with aloe Vera products helped me. I use the aloe Vera shampoo for my hair and aloe Vera hand and face wash for my body, this really helped me so give it a try :-)





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I'm 23 and have started getting really red sore spots randomly on my face. I had such a clear completion in my teens and now it's such a coinfidence killer! I've tried everything to treat them but they just re appear! I also started taking the pill thinking it might kind of help but it ain't showing any results just yet.





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I'm a 42 year old male and I keep getting painful spots on my neck, I have short clipped hair I tried using my missus makeup wipes and it cleared up for a while, but the buggers are back again I read that stress can cause it, really?





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I am 37 and in January of this year had a cesarean section. Since this I have had continuous angry red spots appearing on my face, initially on my chin but now on my cheeks too. On top of this I seem to have lots if very fluffy blonde hair all over my face. I am getting married in July best year and would like advice please to try to rid myself of these before then.





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