Today one of Britain’s leading skin specialists opens the doors to our special acne clinic. Dr Ross Perry answers your questions and explains the most effective treatments available over the counter and from your GP.
What causes acne?
Dr Ross says there are a number of different causes of acne.
Genetics: If your parents had acne, you are likely to have it too
Hormone changes: Caused by periods, polycystic ovary syndrome or hormone problems
Lifestyle: A fatty diet, smoking, stress, poor sleep, excessive alcohol consumption and pollution
Other causes: Side effects from other medications are unlikely to be the cause of acne. Reactions to shower gels, moisturisers etc may cause irritation - but not acne.
What are the different types of acne?
Dr Ross breaks acne down into three common types.
1. Common acne: Small spots which won't leave too many marks afterwards
2. Cystic acne: Lumps which can take weeks or months to settle down
Scarring acne: This is the most debilitating and can leave severe scars. If you are getting scars, it is serious enough for you to see a specialist.
Are adults and teenagers treated differently?
Acne is usually something we associate with being a teenager - but it can affect adults as well. Dr Ross explains how treatment differs.
Dr Ross says: "There are two groups when it comes to acne - teenagers and adults. You can provide the same treatment to both, but with teenagers we are reluctant to use the more aggressive treatments - except in severe cases. With teenagers you want to avoid too much medication if possible, as their skin could settle down by itself. However, if a teenager is starting to get scars, we can be aggressive if we need to. It's about finding a happy medium."