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What is acne?
Acne is a very common skin condition. So don’t freak out. It usually starts at puberty, but it can also start later for some people. The effects could go from a few spots on the face, neck, back and chest to a more serious problem that may cause scarring and impact self-confidence. Acne usually tends to disappear by the late teens or early twenties, but it can persist for longer in some cases.
What causes acne?
Hormones, my friend. During puberty, your body experiences a lot of hormonal changes. Certain hormones cause the oil glands in the skin to produce more oil (called sebum). This increase in oil production becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and causes redness, swelling and pus formation. The hormones also cause the hair follicle to thicken causing blockages (blocked pores).
HOW TO TREAT ACNE?
Beat your acne with our medically proven acne treatments. Simply get started with our online consultation and our licensed prescribers will review your order and create your personalised plan if medically approved. We will have your prescription home-delivered to get you back in the game in no time at all.
HOW DO OUR ACNE TREATMENTS WORK?
When acne becomes an issue for you, the medicines you get over the counter may not be enough and you need something stronger. Our online doctors will assess your needs and can prescribe one of our prescription acne treatments, including tretinoin (also sold under the brand Retin A). Tretinoin is a generic form of Retin A, and improves the quality of the skin by stimulating cell growth and repair. This opens up your pores, allowing trapped bacteria or irritants to be released. It has been medically proven to be very effective and is often used as the first choice when you need a real solution for acne.
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Acne is a skin condition that affects most people at some point in their lives, most often during their teenage years. Acne occurs when the hair follicles under your skin become blocked with oil and dead skin cells causing spots, greasy skin and skin that can feel hot and tender. The areas of the body most commonly affected are the face, back and chest.
Common symptoms of acne include:
- Blackheads – blocked pores that are open and have a dark appearance.
- Whiteheads – blocked pores that are open and look more white.
- Papules – slightly bigger spots that are red and are often firm to touch.
- Pustules – have a buildup of pus at their centre causing a white tip.
- Nodules –large, hard lumps deeper under the skin. They are usually quite painful.
- Cysts – large and painful pus-filled lumps. Cysts are most likely to cause permanent scarring.
Acne is extremely common with around 80% of people between 12 and 24 experiencing breakouts. Thanks to our hormones, acne is usually at large during adolescence and symptoms improve as we get older, often disappearing by our early 20’s. In some cases, acne can continue into adulthood, with one study finding that acne affected 15% of men over 25.
Although it can’t be cured, acne treatments can help control flare ups. Other lifestyle changes that you can implement to help prevent acne include:
- Wash your face with a mild soap or cleanser, using lukewarm water. Don’t wash it more than twice a day as this can make the condition worse. After washing gently pat dry with a clean towel.
- Use a fragrance free, non-comedogenic (does not block pores) moisturiser to stop your skin from drying out.
- Tempting as it is, try to avoid squeezing blackheads or other spots as this damages the skin underneath and can cause permanent scarring. Squeezing spots also pushes the infection deeper into your skin which is why they often come back bigger and angrier than before.
- Exercising can be a great mood booster and help reduce stress but remember to shower as soon as possible after exercise to wash off any sweat which can irritate your skin.
- Wash your hair regularly with a gentle, fragrance free shampoo and conditioner. Avoid letting your hair fall across your face over your spots.
- Being dehydrated can signal to your skin’s oil glands to produce more oil so keep yourself well hydrated with at least 2 litres of water a day.
- Certain foods including sugars and dairy products have been linked to acne. Keep a food diary to work out your triggers and avoid these.
In some people it may be hereditary and if your parents had acne, it is more likely that you will also have acne.
If these acne treatments are not effective and your acne persists, worsens or you develop nodules or cysts you may need something stronger. You should give your treatments a trial period of around 3 months before going to your doctor.
There is currently no cure for acne. However, our prescribed acne treatments are medically proven to be very effective and have had excellent results.
Tretinoin can help reduce scarring and the discoloration caused by scarring by increasing cell turnover and collagen production. Double cleansing and the use of resurfacing ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid or lactic acid can also help to reduce the depth and severity of scars, however they should be avoided if using tretinoin, unless directed by your doctor.