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Information and advice for young people in Suffolk

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Acne quote

Acne

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Everyone gets spots, but if you have a large amount and they won't seem to go away, this could be acne.

What is acne?

Acne is very common in young people. It is an inflammation of the skin that affects the pores and oil glands attached to them.

What causes acne?

Acne is NOT caused by being 'dirty' or by eating lots of chips and chocolate, but by changing hormones.

Acne is a response in the skin to normal levels of the male hormone, testosterone. Both men and women have testosterone circulating in their blood but sometimes this can have an extreme effect on the skin, causing acne. This is kind of like an allergic reaction.

What can I do about it?

Acne can have a big effect on your confidence and self-esteem, and sometimes it might really get you down, but it won't last forever - acne can get better without treatment. You can seek advice by:

  • Speaking to a school nurse by sending a text to ChatHealth on 07507 333356
  • Looking at treatments available to treat acne, including skincare products from your local chemist, Boots store, or supermarket counter.
  • Talking to your doctor, if over the counter products aren't doing the trick, there are a range of options that the doctor can try with you until you find something that works. And if you don't feel that a treatment is working, go back to your doctor and tell them.

Acne can leave scars so it's best to try and get it sorted out quickly. Make sure your doctor take the issue seriously - and let them know if it's having a big effect on your emotional wellbeing.

Tips for managing acne

There are things you can do yourself to minimise acne and try to prevent new spots:

  • Avoid touching your face - your hands have dirt and bacteria which can clog your pores.
  • Wash your face in the morning and before you go to bed - use warm water and a mild facial cleanser.
  • If your skin is dry, use an oil-free moisturiser.
  • If you wear makeup, try to find products that say they are 'non-comedogenic' as this won't irritate your skin as much.
  • Try to drink lots of water and eat plenty of fruit and veg, especially those with vitamin A and vitamin C, which is good for skin health.

For more information and advice on acne and how to treat it, visit the NHS website.

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