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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 23:25 GMT 00:25 UK
'Acne shattered my self-confidence'
teenagers
Many teenagers suffer from acne
There are moves to create a new treatment for the thousands of people who suffer from acne.

BBC News Online talks to one woman who had a severe case of the condition.

Ann Phillips says acne had a terrible impact on her life, affecting her self-esteem, her schooling and her social life.

She said: "I was always a bit spotty but it flared up at 17. It became very inflamed with lots of bumps and spots.

"It shatters your self confidence. It was something I was always thinking about, so my concentration was bad at school.

"Every five minutes I would have to find a mirror so I could put on some more make-up."

It made me moody because I was feeling sorry for myself and I spent half my time in the toilets doing my make-up
Ann Phillips
Her relationships with other people were also affected.

"I didn't like talking face to face with people - I would put my hand over my face," she said.

"I had this long routine before I went out. I couldn't just go without putting on all my make-up. And I had to have my medication with me.

"It made me moody because I was feeling sorry for myself and I spent half my time in the toilets doing my make-up.

Family

Fortunately her boyfriend, friends and family gave her the help she needed.

Her mother had previously suffered from the condition so could empathise with her daughter.

Ann said: "She is one of those brutally honest people so she would just say if it was really bad or slightly better one day.

"My boyfriend was very supportive and my friends didn't mention it, though I had a habit of moaning about it."

Now aged 18 and a student in London, Ann says getting treatment quickly was vital to her getting over the condition.

"I went to my GP who put me on various things," she said.

"Then I went to a private dermatologist. It was 100 a session and I went three times.

"It worked, though it took a bit of time. It does take a bit of patience because you have to give each treatment two or three months."

Hormone levels

Ann was given the contraceptive pill Dianette, which contains oestrogen and alters hormone levels responsible for the acne.

She was also given Minocin, an antibiotic, and she used a topical treatment on her face.

"I have a few scars, but they are reducing over time," she said.

Ann encouraged people who suffer from acne to get help straight away.

"The sooner you act, the more quickly you get the right thing and the less likely you are to get scarring.

"There is something you can do about it."




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