Virtually 100 percent of boys and 90 per cent of girls suffer from acne at least occasionally. But men and women of all ages can be affected so that, even if you were among the lucky few who missed the curse of acne as teenagers, you may still run into trouble later. Indeed, more than 50 percent of people over 25 experience acne breakouts well into their forties and beyond.
Acne can break out anywhere on your body that pilosebaceous follicles are present - that is, just about anywhere except the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. Obviously, however, the most common locations are face, neck, chest and back, with the most frequent of all being the forehead, nose, lower cheeks and chin and unfortunately these are the most visible areas and therefore the most upsetting to sufferers.
Moreover, the problem is not merely physical: people young and old, men and women, often experience psychological trauma and real heartache from their acne. Even when it isn't so bad, people often feel embarrassed about themselves. Here are some of the comments we here from acne clients.
'I can't ask girls out,' a 27-year-old man confided. Admittedly, the young man had some pimples on his chin, but his condition was not terrible, and otherwise he was healthy and attractive. No doubt many a girl would have been delighted with him. But he was convinced, 'They'll think I'm a freak.' And nothing would change his mind until his acne disappeared.
'I'm scared to accept invitations to go out,' said a woman who had become a virtual recluse. 'I'm shy by nature. And as soon as I accept an invitation, I get nervous and anxious, and then the most horrible outbreak of acne appears. It happens just about every time.' Although the acne was not nearly as severe as she assumed, she was correct in observing that as soon as she became stressed by the combination of an impending anxiety-producing social event and the expectation of an acne attack, her acne did flare up. Since she was convinced that there was nothing she could do about it, the stress became that much worse; the vicious circle drew tighter.
'I look horrible,' an attractive 30-year-old woman complained. In fact, her 'horrible' skin consisted of no more than some whiteheads on her nose and a larger, infected pimple on her forehead. But to her, that pimple was a beacon, as distracting as an additional eye staring out just above her nose.
'I don't think I'll get to be a partner,' stated a 36-year-old solicitor whose face was covered with relatively mild acne. 'The acne. It makes me look like an overgrown kid. They'll think I lack maturity.' Nothing could convince this very accomplished professional that acne was not a career-ender.
Most peoples self-assessments are far harsher than the facts warrant. Nevertheless, that's how they often feel. After all, they reasoned, if they found their acne to be dreadful, why wouldn't others feel the same? This view holds some logic, however flawed, and is therefore hard to dispel.
When dermatologists and doctors confront severe acne by prescribing a drug called Roaccutane, it works to eliminate almost all acne. However, it can have serious side effects, including bleeding gums, dry mouth and cracked lips, enhanced sun sensitivity, hair loss, headaches and dried nasal linings, which may lead to nosebleeds. It may also cause birth defects and should therefore never be used by women who are contemplating pregnancy.
If you are interested in booking a FREE consultation for advice on the best treatments and products for your acne or acne scarring, please call us today on 0113 282 3300 or complete an enquiry form.