Troubled by acne

My face is prone to acne. I have tried many treatments, but the problem keeps coming back.

Q: My face is prone to acne. I have tried many treatments, but the problem keeps coming back. Can you please explain why this happens? Also, is there a sure-shot way to be free of pimples?

Uduak Akpan

A: The skin of the face, chest, shoulders, arms and the upper back contains oil glands. From age 12 or 13 [adolescence], these oil glands produce copious amounts of an oily substance called sebum. If the oil pores do not expel the oil on the surface of the skin, they form tiny bumps, commonly known as acne. Sometimes, these tiny bumps [pimples] get loaded with germs, which leave ugly marks and scars.

To keep a lid on your problem, wash your face often and avoid applying unnecessary creams to your face. Also, avoid touching, picking or squeezing pimples; this might cause them to spread.

You can also use creams containing benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin and clindamycin. But I suggest that you try these only after consulting your dermatologist.

—Answered by Rajan T D, skin specialist

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