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HEALTH Treating teenage acne

Teenage acne uncovered

Skin Specialist
Bernie Fahy

Acne, chronic inflammation of the pores of the skin, affects 85 per cent percent of young people aged 12 to 14 (as if the teenage years are not difficult enough!). Acne can be severe enough to cause scarring, which is why treatment intervention is so important at early stages. More often than not, any form of acne can severely affect self image and self confidence in teenagers.

Several hormonal processes cause pores to narrow and trap inflammatory peroxides. Under conditions of stress, greatly increased numbers of sebum glands pour out increased amounts of oily sebum. Stress, therefore, can bring on a severe outbreak.
Insulin resistance is also a problem. Insulin moves sugar from the blood stream into cells. When skin cells are unable to respond to insulin, sugar accumulates in the skin fluids and flows into the follicle, where it feeds bacteria.
Even more frequently, acne can result from the over-use of pore-clogging cosmetics and over-stimulation of the skin.

Prescription medications for acne frequently make the condition worse before it gets better, often requiring several weeks or months to take effect.
Medical microdermabrasion effectively removes impurities from the skin and is beneficial. Supplements vitamin E, vitamin C and B vitamins also work well, while tea tree oil applied topically can help too. A consultation to determine which form of acne you are suffering from – and the best course of treatment – is also worthwhile.

Bernie Fahy works in Ballinrobe, Westport and Galway. She can be contacted at 086 2220125 or For more information, visit