Acne is one of the most common skin conditions worldwide and affects most people at some stage in their life. It’s the cause of spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that’s hot or painful to touch.

Commonly linked to changes in hormone levels during puberty, acne can actually affect people at any age. Certain hormones cause the oil producing glands next to hair follicles in the skin to produce larger amounts of oil. Acne is also known to run in families, if your parents or grandparents had acne, it’s likely you will also develop the condition.

At the moment there is no evidence to suggest that diet, poor hygiene or sexual activity play a role in acne.

Acne often develops on the face, back and chest with 6 main types of spot that can develop; blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. In some cases the acne can be extremely severe and require extensive treatment, in others it can be treated at home. Although acne can’t be ‘cured’, there are many different options to help ease the symptoms including creams, lotions and gels which are available at pharmacies.

Self-help techniques that may be useful to ease symptoms for sufferers include:

  • Don’t wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day.
  • Wash the affected area with mild soap or cleanser.
  • Don’t try to clean blackheads or squeeze spots as this can cause scarring.
  • Avoid using too much make up and other cosmetics.
  • Remove make up before going to bed thoroughly.
  • Wash your hair regularly and try to avoid letting it fall across your face.

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