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    Private GP Services & Occupational Healthcare in Edinburgh, UK.

    Busting myths for Acne Awareness Month

    Busting myths for Acne Awareness Month

    Posted on May 24th, 2024

    Spots, pimples, blemishes and blackheads – there’s never a good time for them to pop up! It is thought that around 95% of the UK population has experienced acne to some extent in their lives, but it can vary hugely in its severity. Despite most spots being relatively small, the impact that acne can have on the sufferer can be massive, especially as there are still so many myths and misconceptions about this common skin problem. Read on as the health experts at YourGP bust these myths in time for Acne Awareness Month.

    Top three acne myths

    “It’s due to poor hygiene”
    The truth is that acne is an extremely complex skin problem linked to a range of factors including genetics, hormones, environment, lifestyle, diet and stress. We also know that factors such as lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, food intolerances, certain medications, some cosmetics, and damage to the skin barrier can trigger acne breakouts. Essentially, it is caused by things happening beneath the skin, not on the surface, so cleanliness is not a contributing factor when it comes to acne.

    “It’s a teenage problem”
    Many people associate the word ‘acne’ with an image of teenagers. Although it can be common amongst young people, it is a problem that can continue well into adulthood. In fact, we often see women, who have had perfectly clear skin their whole life, start to experience breakouts when they reach their twenties or thirties.

    “You can map the cause”
    You may have heard of ‘acne face mapping’ which claims that breakouts in certain areas of the face are directly linked to physiological problems elsewhere in the body – for example, spots on the chin are said to be related to hormones and pimples on the cheeks are said to be the result of digestive issues. However, there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support this.

    What’s really going on under the skin

    Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum which clogs the sebaceous glands, causing them to become inflamed and infected with bacteria. It most commonly affects the face, but it can often also appear on the back and chest.

    A problem that’s not just skin deep

    Acne is not just a physiological problem, it can also have a major impact on one’s self-confidence and mental health. Many patients come to us with feelings of embarrassment, shame and isolation resulting from their acne. In fact, according to a recent study cited in the British Journal of Dermatology, the prevalence of anxiety in patients with acne is estimated to be as high as 68.3% (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale).

    For this reason, we at YourGP take the treatment of acne extremely seriously as we know what an impact it can have on a person’s life.

    Help is available

    There is a range of products available on the high street that claim to treat breakouts, however moderate to severe acne will require something stronger. Prescription treatments for acne available at YourGP include topical gels such as benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids, topical antibiotics, azelaic acid and antibiotic tablets.

    However, even with prescription strength products and medication, it is important to be aware that there is no overnight cure. Each of these treatments comes with potential side effects and treatments can take time to take effect.

    Follow the instructions and use them consistently. Have patience and persist. And if you are still not seeing a noticeable improvement after a couple of months, make an appointment at the practice so we can assess your next steps.

    Speak to the experts

    If acne breakouts are getting you down, book an appointment at YourGP via our simple online booking system, email reception@your.gp, or call us on 0131 225 5656 and we’ll be happy to arrange an appointment at a time that suits you.

    Just a massive thank you for being so willing to help us out. I was kept up to date in all email communication between the two clinics which I found very reassuring. I honestly can not emphasize enough how grateful we both are that the clinic was able to help us out with the Zita West fertility tests. We really did not know what we were going to do after the mix up with the blood collection dates due to the 4th of July in America and really thought we would have to give up on these tests so it means a massive amount to us that we have been able to proceed with them because of your willingness to help us out. Thank you again.

    D and A McG

    YourGP is regulated by Healthcare Improvement Scotland – the regulator for independent healthcare services across Scotland. Healthcare Improvement Scotland accepts complaints at any time. Contact them at:

    Independent Healthcare Team
    Gyle Square | 1 South Gyle Crescent | Edinburgh | EH12 9EB
    0131 623 4342 | his.ihcregulation@nhs.scot

    YourGP is registered with the Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) Registered Office: Station Road, North Street, Havant PO9 1QU.