:: Acne

Healthy Children & Teens - Acne
  Healthy Children & Teens

Acne is the most common of skin diseases, affecting 85 per cent of Australians aged 15-24 years old. Very few people manage to escape their teenage and young adult years without some pimples and blackheads.

Acne usually clears spontaneously for many people by their mid 20s. However, for some young people acne is a far more serious problem with the possibility of permanent physical, mental and emotional effects.

When it comes to acne, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a guy or girl as both sexes get acne.

Adolescent boys and young men (13 – 25 yrs old) have higher levels of androgens (hormones that rule the development of the sexual organs) than females so they are more likely to have acne and unfortunately, are also more likely to have severe acne. Acne in guys usually settles during their early 20s.

If you’re a female, you’re more likely to suffer with ongoing acne. In some cases, this means acne can be hanging around even in your 30s and 40s. Females can also develop acne for the first time after puberty.  

Acne is very common in teenagers and more so in some families. Some people are more sensitive to testosterone: it does not usually mean the levels of the hormone in your blood are too high. However, in some girls with severe acne, this can be the case.

Signs & Symptoms:

In their teens, both young men and young women have more male hormone (testosterone) in their blood. This hormone makes the sebaceous glands at the bottom of the hairs on your face, back or neck churn out too much oil, which then gets clogged in the pores. Bacteria grow in the trapped oil and make a fatty substance that irritates your skin. This gives you whiteheads, blackheads, red bumps, yellow pus-filled spots or deep cysts.

Whilst a healthy, balanced diet, high in fruit and vegetables provides the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health, there is no evidence that chocolate, sweets or foods rich in fat cause acne or make acne worse.

However, some people say that eating certain foods makes their acne worse. If you notice that your acne worsens after you eat certain foods, try to stop eating those foods and note what happens.

Weight Management - Maintaining a healthy weight may help to reduce the risk of developing acne and reduce its severity.


The best treatment is to leave your acen alone. Taking out blackheads is not recommended, and try not to pick or squeeze pimples: it can make the infection worse and cause scars.

Clean your skin regularly. Avoid excessive scrubbing. Special soaps and shampoos are not necessary.

There are, however, treatments that can help if acne is causing distress:

  • Some acne treatments work by cleaning the skin and drying up excess oil. If you use any form of treatment and your skin becomes very dry or irritated, stop using it straight away. 
  • Professional Treatment.  If your acne is bad, your doctor may prescribe medication or refer you to a dermatologist. Medications can lead to huge improvements in how the skin looks and can reduce the number of new pimples. Medical treatment can include:
    • Antibiotics to kill the germs, which are part of the cause
    • Medications to reduce the amount of oil being produced
    • Medications to reduce the amount of androgen in the body

More Information:


Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • acne management
  • skin cleaning
  • medications for acne 

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