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Acne is a common skin condition which most often affects teenagers but can also affect adults. It causes greasy skin, spots and cysts. Although it’s not in itself life-threatening, it can often cause self-esteem issues or depression for the person suffering with it.

It’s often caused by an excess production of sebum or hormonal changes such as puberty or pregnancy. Acne is also said to run in families. Despite what you might hear, acne is not caused by sexual activity or a lack of personal hygiene.

  • Acne often develops on the face, back and chest. There are several types of spots that can develop:

    • Blackheads: black or yellow dots or bumps on the skin

    • Whiteheads: white dots or bumps on the skin

    • Papules: small, red, tender bumps

    • Pustules: small, red, tender bumps with a white centre

    • Nodules: hard lumps under the surface of the skin

    • Cysts: pus-filled lumps that are similar to boils

  • Speak to your pharmacist who can recommend medicines that can treat your acne such as gels, creams and lotions. If this doesn’t help or you start suffering from nodules or cysts, please speak to your doctor.

    You can also help tackle your acne at home:

    • Reduce your use of cosmetics or opt for non-comedogenic instead

    • Remove your makeup before bed

    • Don’t wash your skin more than twice a day

    • Use mild soap or cleanser and warm water

    • Don’t pick or squeeze your spots- this can cause scarring

    • Wash your hair regularly and don’t let it fall across your face

    • Get regular exercise to improve your self-esteem and boost your mood

Further resources

Learn more about acne here.