What do you know about acne?

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Before and After portrait image of woman with and without acne

Around 85 percent of Australians between 18 and 24 will get acne in their life. However, there’s more to this skin disease than meets the eye.

Acne is the most common skin disease, and one that doesn’t discriminate between gender and age, although it does affect teenagers more. If other people in your family have had it, you may be more likely to develop it too.

What causes acne?

Acne occurs when your oil glands produce more oil and pores become blocked, resulting in blackheads and pimples. Bacteria multiply in these blocked pores, which can make the swelling, redness and soreness worse.

Where on the body can acne appear?

Pimples and blackheads can appear on almost every part of your body, but occur more in areas with large numbers of oil glands. Your face, upper back, shoulders, chest, and neck are all more likely to get them than anywhere else.

What role do hormones play?

Boys are often more susceptible due to their high levels of androgens, (male sex hormones), particularly during puberty and as young adults. Once they reach their mid-20s, it often starts to clear up.

Women are also affected by hormones; and often notice acne worsens before menstruation, during contraceptive pill changes, and in times of high stress. Acne can also be aggravated by weight problems, pregnancy, or a condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Additionally, women are more likely to suffer from acne into their 30s and 40s. This adult acne appears to be linked to both hormones and stress.

At any age, you can see your GP about acne, especially if it’s affecting your enjoyment of life. Your GP may prescribe treatment, or refer you to a skin specialist. The sooner you see a medical professional, the quicker you can get on top of it and feel better, both inside and out.

To chat with our doctors about your acne, you can book an appointment online.

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