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Home / Acne

Acne Symptoms and Causes

Acne Symptoms and Causes

Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is a skin condition that it is extremely common, particularly in young people. It happens when the sebaceous clans in the face become inflamed, leading to spots. Infections can range from moderate to severe and tend to appear on the face, back or chest area. One of the root causes of acne is hormones, which is why it tends to become less severe as you grow out of your teens into adulthood, although this condition can appear and reappear at any point during a person's life.

In most cases acne won't need any extreme treatment and over-the-counter products can be enough to manage the condition, but severe acne can affect more than just the appearance of a person's skin. Serious infections can have far-reaching effects on a person's confidence. In these cases prescription medication is an option.

Dr. Sarah Donald
Dr. Sarah Donald Clinical Lead

Available Treatment(s)

Pack of 28 Oxytetracycline 250mg tablets
Oxytetracycline 4.4(31 Reviews)
  • Targets acne causing bacteria
  • Only requires an oral tablet to be taken, no creams or gels
  • Can be used by both men and women
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Prices start from £49.99
Dianette to treat acne 4.5(25 Reviews)
  • Used to help women treat and manage acne or hirsutism
  • Taken orally for 21 consecutive days with a 7 day break
  • Regulates periods and eases PMS
More Info
Prices start from £39.99

What causes acne vulgaris?

The development this condition in both young men and women is often associated with male hormones known as androgens. These hormones can stimulate the production of a substance called sebum by the sebaceous glands. Sebum isn't bad and is actually instrumental in keeping the skin healthy, but too much can cause pores to become clogged, leading to inflammation.

Increased sebum production tends to go hand-in-hand with hormonal changes, which may occur as the result of puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Acne can also signify other medical conditions such as Cushing's syndrome or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Taking some types of oral contraceptives or using steroid creams can also aggravate the sebaceous glands.

What are the symptoms of acne vulgaris

It is recognisable by the presence of spots on the face, back or chest. These spots can be a combination of six different types, namely: whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. The area that can be covered in spots that can be small or large, but the symptoms are usually easily recognisable.

Can I do anything to prevent acne?

There are no specific measures that can be taken to avoid it, but you can make yourself less vulnerable to outbreaks. You can, for example, ensure that you wash your face on a regular basis, particularly after exercise, although you should avoid over washing, as this can have the opposite effect. You can also try to use non-acnegicic or non-comedogenic skin products, to avoid further clogging of pores, and take care to remove all make-up (if you wear any) before going to bed at night. You should also try to avoid touching your face too much as this can cause the spread of bacteria.

Acne treatment

This is a very common skin condition and for that reason there are many different treatments available. Over-the-counter face cleansing products, creams, ointments and lotions are widely used and contain ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, alpha hydroxyl acids, salicylic acid or sulphur.

For most people using over-the-counter products are effective and provide results, but for more advanced cases, a prescription treatment can be used. Minocin and Oxytetracycline are treatments that target acne bacteria and are usually taken for a period of six months. Dianette on the other hand is an oral contraceptive that controls the effects of androgens and is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments for young women.

Ordering treatment online

121doc provides patients with a chance to order Minocin, Oxytetracycline and Dianette online with the help of our online consultation service. This forms part of our ordering process and is completely free and will help our doctor evaluate accurately whether you should be prescribed a particular treatment or not. If a prescription is approved for you, it will be passed to our pharmacy from where it will be shipped for next day delivery so you can start your treatment as soon as possible.

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