Advice to other young people with acne
• don’t let having acne get you down
Many people wanted to give a positive message and to reassure others. This included telling them not to be too self-conscious or worry about their acne. As Chris said, “don’t beat yourself up about it”. But many people also recognised that this can be easier said than done as they had found acne to be physically and emotionally difficult themselves. Not everyone found acne affected them emotionally, but some said it had a big impact on their self-esteem and self-confidence. Nina explained that “it’s not necessarily about how it looks but how it makes you feel”. • recognise that different skincare products and medical treatments will be suitable for some people, but not everyone.
Lots of people had very general advice about skincare products. Ish and Hester recommended seeing a doctor rather than trying out lots of different over the counter products, which they think are a waste of money. But others, like Tom, think it’s good to try everything that’s out there, and then if you’re still not happy, to see a doctor. Many people spoke particularly about isotretinoin and its potential side effects. It had worked well for some people and they wanted others to consider taking it. But not everyone had and a few said it was ok to be cautious about taking it. • know that you can get medical help with acne
Lots of people felt it was important to do something about acne if it was causing upset or other problems in the person’s life. Lots of people had good experiences with their doctors and most recommended going to them for acne treatments. Sarah thinks it is “ok to be upset” about acne if it’s affecting your life and she suggests being proactive in seeking help from “knowledgeable people”. But some were reluctant and didn’t go to see their GP when they first had acne. Deborah, who first had acne at the age of 12, waited until she was 20. Sarah also added that not everyone feels upset about acne or wants to try lots of treatments, which she says is fine too. • try different treatments if your current ones aren’t helping
A few people said they had kept on using the same treatment for a long time and wished they had asked for another to try sooner. Some people felt their doctors had needed a push to find the right treatment for them or give them a referral onto a dermatologist. Some found that sharing with their doctor about the emotional and social impact of acne helped highlight the importance for them in finding an effective treatment.