Spots. Blemishes. Zits. Pimples. Nobody want them, and they tend to crop up when they are least welcome - before a party, a hot date, a job interview.
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But what if the problem is more permanent than the odd, badly-timed, eruption?
Around 80per cent of us suffer from acne at some point in our lives, and according to Dr Tony Chu, Professor of Dermatology at Hammersmith Hospital in London, and the man who knows more about acne than anyone else, you can get it at any age.
Worringly, cases are on the rise, probably due to our stressful lives. Acne happens when our skin becomes sensitive to a hormone, DHT. This can be triggered by hormonal changes or by stress.
DHT makes the skin oily and thicker, producing more cells that die faster. These fall into hair follicles, blocking them. Then the bacterium p.acnes starts to grow under the plug. The result? Red, ugly, painful spots, pimples, blemishes, zits... whatever you call them - acne is essentially problem skin.
Luckily there are some hot new, non—prescription treatments out there. These acne treatments and acne cures are more effective, and with fewer side effects than ever before.
You may think you've tried every acne treatment and acne cure under the sun, but the quest for clear skin is rarely a smooth one. Leah Hardy rounds up the latest acne treatments on the market...