Acne

Acne can be disfiguring and can also be socially isolating.
Acne is an angry reaction in the skin, usually around the glands in the skin which get blocked and build up sebum which can get infected by skin bacteria, called propionum bacteria. This commonly occurs on the face and back. Acne treatment usually involves a concerted effort involving diet, exercise, skin care (like cleaning with water and non-soap low allergy preparations like cetaphil from the chemist) this might help unblock pores.

Topical benzyl benzoic acid and oral anti bacterials like doxycycline might also help by not letting the sebum get infected in the first place and lessening the swelling and redness effects of acne. Sometimes seeing the doctor might help as they can prescribe other treatment like isotretinoin, a very strong vitamin A, which encourages the skin to grow faster than the growth of the acne, growing the skin nice and smooth.

Medications are usually the last line of defence, as they can cause some toxicity. Girls have to be extremely careful not to get pregnant while on some skin medications, as it can cause birth defects and so we counsel any female of reproductive age to take an oral contraceptive. Boys do not have to worry but are excluded from donating blood for 1 month, in case it is given to a pregnant woman. Usually the effects last 6m after treatment. Blood tests need to be done regularly as some people can develop liver toxicity.