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Acne And Other Skin Problems

Acne occurs when the sebaceous (oil) glands in the skin produce too much of an oil called sebum. Sebum helps lubricate the skin but when the ducts of the oil glands become blocked, the sebum accumulates and blackheads are formed. These blackheads can become pimples if they get infected.

Acne is common among teenagers because of the hormonal changes that occur with adolescence. You may also get pimples if you are taking certain medicines such as steroids and hormones (e.g. contraceptive pills). Being exposed at work to some chemicals can also cause acne.

To treat acne, it is important to keep your face clean. Wash your face with a gentle soap regularly to reduce oiliness. Don't squeeze the blackheads and pimples or they may become infected by the bacteria on your fingers. A pimple cream may help improve your complexion. If you think your acne is very bad, see your medical officer. He may prescribe antibiotics like tetracycline for you.


Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the groin and the body. It can also affect the scalp and nails. They are round, scaly, patches on the skin. The centre of each patch has tiny blisters, which clear as the blisters spread outwards in a ring. The skin is very itchy and if the scalp is affected. there may even be bald patches. Ringworm can be spread from one person to another by contact. It is treated with anti-fungal creams but bad cases may need medication taken by mouth.

Pityriasis Versicolor (Tinea Versicolor)

This fungal infection is quite common and affects mainly the back, chest and arms. It appears as white patches. Treatment is with anti-fungal creams. Even after treatment, it takes some time for the skin color to return to normal.


Eczema is a common skin condition in which there are areas of redness and swelling on the skin, with blisters, dryness, scaling and itching. Certain parts are affect more often, for example, elbows, knees and neck. A common form of eczema is contact dermatitis which is due to allergy to nickel or constant irritation by a substance. For example, you may be allergic to nickel. Or your skin may be irritated by traces of bleach in your clothes, giving rise to irritant contact dermatitis. If your doctor thinks you have contacted dermatitis, he may send you for a patch test to find out the substance causing it.

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