What's up doc - skin and acne

‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives readers from Surrey and Sussex the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.

Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to try to help.

This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on 1 August 2012, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.


“I never had acne as a teenager. Why am I now getting acne as an adult male? I am 27 years of age and not on any medication, I have tried every type of facial wash and cream. Its knocks my self-confidence, please can you help?” Rob, Horley


Dr Sandeep Cliff, consultant dermatologist, said, “No one knows why we get acne later in life - we know that the main problem is the overproduction of a product called sebum on the skin.  This makes the skin feel greasy and blocks the pores and leads to acne - it is a myth that this is to do with eating too much greasy food!

Facial creams do help in particular products containing benzyl peroxide and/or azelaic acids all help to break down the sebum and 'unblock' the pores. There are a lot of effective treatments on the market and the best treatment to suit your acne type can be discussed with your local doctor - if there is not a big improvement then you can be referred onto a dermatologist who may be able to offer you other treatments including tablets and light therapy”.

Do you need an appointment?

Dr Sandeep Cliff, offers private appointments at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital on Tuesdays and Thursday.  To book an appointment call 01293 778 906 or email info@spiregatwick.com.

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