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Information, Advice and sources of support for young people in Suffolk


“People are like Oreos – the good stuff is on the inside”

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 caused by your changing hormones (not dirt, chips or chocolate!).

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 might really get you down, but it won’t last forever – acne can get better without treatment.

You can seek advice by:

  • Visiting the NHS website – for more information and advice on how to treat it.
  • Speaking to a school nurse or your local pharmacist.
  • Over-the-counter treatments – from your local chemist, Boots store, or supermarket counter.

Talk to your doctor if over the counter products aren’t working – 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.

Make sure your doctor takes the issue seriously - and let them know if it's having a big effect on your emotional wellbeing.

There are things you can do to minimise breakouts:

- Don't pick at spots. 

- Acne can leave scars so it's best to try and get it sorted out quickly.

- 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.
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Page updated on February 15th, 2024 at 03:42pm