Prescribed acne treatments aren’t reserved for the most severe of cases – go to the doctors.
Facial acne can come on a spectrum of severity, and according to the NHS website, 95% of people aged between 11 and 30 experience the skin condition.
A few spots here and there are perfectly normal and harmless, and don’t necessarily allow for a trip to your local doctor.
As soon as your acne becomes swollen and painful, it is worth seeing a medical professional. Painful skin is not something that you have to put up with until it calms down on its own, and then comes back again – perhaps in a month, or when you’re next experiencing stress.
For years, I battled painful spots on my chin that I didn’t think were bad enough to waste the nice doctor’s time; it didn’t look as bad as some of my friends, and clearly didn’t need the harsher end of treatments such as Accutane.
So when it flared up again during lockdown, my mother encouraged me to book an appointment at our local surgery to have it looked at.
To my surprise the doctor, via FaceTime, informed me that, yes, that does look inflamed, and prescribed me a 6-week course of oral antibiotics. My skin at the time consisted of a few big spots, but that was it.
After two weeks on the antibiotics, my skin was less red, and my spots less swollen. I couldn’t believe I did not take advantage of the means available before me.
It should be noted that the antibiotics – Lymecycline – did cause me bouts of nausea if I took them on an empty stomach, but that was the only real drawback I experienced, with the prescribed dose being one-a-day every morning for a month and a half.
Antibiotics are not often the first course of treatment that doctors will utilise; a change in diet and the use of strong creams containing Benzoyl Peroxide are often suggested first. However, these didn’t work for me, and I went through these treatments with over-the-counter products and a search online.
I still battle with the occasional flare up, but thanks to the professional medical advice I received it has been limited to just this. Articles found in the depths of Glamour Magazine are not serving your best interests, and yes I do see the irony as I sit and write an article about acne.
But my advice is simply if your acne is getting you down, go to the doctors, instead of thinking you have to suck it up. You don’t – go get some professional advice.
Image provided by MyPharmacy.co.uk