Acne is the named given to the build up of spots on the face, chest or back. The spots vary between individuals but can be large and cause permanent scarring.

These spots, and any oily skin caused by acne can be treated and managed. Treatment can take a couple of months to take effect but in most cases will drastically reduce the number of spots and prevent scarring. 

Acne signs and symptoms:
The main symptom of acne is spots and oily skin.

These spots can range from blackheads and whiteheads which are caused by blocked pores. The most severe spots are called cysts. Cysts are large pus-filled lumps which can look like boils. Large spots such as cysts carry the largest risk of leaving scars.

Treatment for acne depends on how severe it is. Small blackheads or a smaller spots can be treated with good success without going to see your doctor. Creams or gels that contain benzoyl peroxide are the appropriate treatment for less extreme cases.

Some people will not be able to control their acne with over the counter medicines. For these people or if you develop cysts or larger spots you may wish to see your doctor. Prescription medicines will usually consist of antibiotics, or for women, the combined contraceptive pill.

You may have to wait three months to see any improvement in your acne. Untreated acne can last five years and be continually sore along with leaving scarring. 

Lifestyle tips:
Most of us will get acne, usually before we turn 25, although adult acne in women is common.

The latest research shows that changes in hormones are the main cause of acne flare ups. During puberty both men and women see a large increase in testosterone which causes acne. Other hormonal changes can also have an effect though, such as when women have their periods or during pregnancy.

Smoking puts you at a heightened risk of developing adult acne. Various medication can also be the cause of acne. Steroid, lithium and anti-epilepsy drugs are known to cause acne in some cases.

Personal hygiene does not having a bearing on acne, although does help in stopping other types of spots. Washing your face more than twice a day is not recommended, as you can cause soreness and aggravate your skin.   

Diet tips:
Your diet does not affect your chances of getting acne. Although changing your diet slightly can help speed up the recovery process from any mild scarring. 

A temporary increase in your carbohydrate, protein, essential fatty acids and vitamin A and C will help your skin to recover quicker once your acne has died down. Also making sure your intakes of zinc and iron are good will minimise scarring.

Akoma recommends:
As acne is easily irritated, it’s important to use products that are free from colourants or artificial preservatives which can dry out the skin and worsen the condition. 

To keep clean and fresh, Akoma Black Soap is a natural antibacterial product that reduces inflammation of the skin. It’s made from raw shea butter, organic virgin coconut oil and cocoa pods that gently treat infections.

Black soap is also rich in antioxidants that improve the general health of your skin, helping it to fight off acne in future.

Akoma Tea Tree Essential Oil is rich with the antibacterial ingredients that treat many skin infections. The oil also has antifungal and antiseptic properties so it’s been used across the world for years to treat acne and skin breakouts.

Use a swab and apply the oil directly onto the affected area a couple of times a day to stop the acne spreading and help its recovery.