Friday - - Fashion -

Q I am 15-year-old girl who, un­til last month, had never had pim­ples or acne. Then I had a se­vere out­break and even though the acne it­self has cleared up, I have been left with scars. Is there any way I can get rid of them?

A First, let me tell you that acne is the most com­mon skin dis­or­der af­fect­ing teenagers and out­breaks af­fect males and fe­males equally.

Ap­prox­i­mately 75 per cent of teenagers suf­fer from a cer­tain de­gree of acne at any stage dur­ing their teens. Acne is be­lieved to be caused by hor­monal fluc­tu­a­tions oc­cur­ring at pu­berty and that con­tinue for some pe­riod there­after.

Clin­i­cally, acne is as­sessed and clas­si­fied into sev­eral grades based on its in­ten­sity. Since you do not give a de­tailed mor­pho­log­i­cal de­scrip­tion of your acne le­sions, it would be dif­fi­cult to con­clude the sever­ity grade of your acne. A de­tailed ex­am­i­na­tion would be nec­es­sary to sug­gest a proper course of ther­apy.

Not ev­ery acne suf­ferer ends up hav­ing scars; only those with a se­vere va­ri­ety of acne or those left with un­treated or in­com­pletely treated acne are at risk of de­vel­op­ing post-acne scars. Clin­i­cal sta­tis­tics show that ap­prox­i­mately 10-15 per cent of to­tal suf­fer­ers end up with post-acne scars. Your con­di­tion – de­vel­op­ing a se­vere acne out­burst in just one month – ap­pears to be very un­usual.

In my opin­ion, you are prob­a­bly con­fus­ing ac­nein­duced skin blem­ishes with acne scars. A de­tailed ex­am­i­na­tion would be nec­es­sary to re­veal the causative fac­tors.

How­ever, I’d like to re­as­sure you that acne is com­pletely cur­able in most cases with timely and ap­pro­pri­ate treat­ment.

DR IKRAMULLAH AL NASIR is a Dubai-based der­ma­tol­o­gist

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