This is a common and usually a chronic skin condition seen in most teenagers but can appear in all ages. It is seen as blackheads, whiteheads, red spots and when severe with cysts. It usually affects the face, but can also involve the back and shoulders and chest. The exact reasons for acne appearing on the skin and the variation in the severity are not fully clear. It can be a reason for embarrassment and self-consciousness and can affect the confidence of people who suffer with it. Unfortunately it can also lead to pigmentation and scarring which can be more long term.
Treatment varies depending on the type and severity of lesions. Treatment can be topical creams, lotions and/or with oral medications. You can help your skin by washing your face with a mild cleanser and warm water daily though too much washing can harm your skin. Generally be careful with oil based skin care products or makeup on your face which can make acne worse. Look for skin care products, makeup and sunscreen which are less likely to aggravate your acne and are usually marketed as non comedogenic and try to use water based products wherever possible. Some lifestyle changes such as avoiding stress can help reduce flare ups. There is not much evidence of a relationship between diet and acne but some evidence to suggest that foods with high glycaemic index, meaning a type of food which would lead to an insulin spike can aggravate acne. Insulin is the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels and food with high glycaemic index are considered to be any food with lots of sugar.
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