Acne – the basics

Acne is a common dermatological condition that affects most people at some stage in their life. Because acne is regarded as “normal” and over-the-counter products are readily available, most people will not seek treatment from their General Practitioner. However, for some, acne will become significant enough to require medical management.

More than 80% of people will develop some degree of acne between age 11 – 30 years. Acne is usually mild and transitory, however, it can lead to complications including scarring, dyspigmentation and psychological issues such as anxiety, depression and, rarely, suicide.

Pharmacological treatment for acne is based on the severity of the symptoms and the impact of the condition on the patient. Treatment ranges from topical medicines for mild acne to oral isotretinoin for severe acne.

Questions asked in the acne consultation

  • The duration of acne symptoms, sites affected and the typical appearance (i.e. their acne may be unusually severe or mildon the day they present)doctor-consultation-700x466
  • Possible aggravating factors, such as use of cosmetics, skin products or sunscreens
  • Use of medicines that may cause acne, e.g. antipsychotics or lithium.
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