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Your Problems: Dear Miriam.

Byline: Miriam Stoppard

I'M 17, have suffered with acne for four years and it's really getting me depressed. I've got it all over my body and it's getting worse. All my friends had it at 13 or 14 but while they've got better, I haven't.

I've been given courses of antibiotics but they made no difference and my doctor seems to believe it will all clear up in time.

The thing is, I can't wait much longer. It's ruining my life and I don't want to go out or meet girls or anything.

Am I eating the wrong food? I've read that a dermatologist can help - how do I go about finding one?

CONTRARY to popular belief, diet plays no role at all in acne. But, among other things, stress can trigger acne episodes, so your anxiety could be making your problem worse.

I agree it may be useful to see a dermatologist and you should ask your doctor to make the arrangements.

For severe or recurrent problems, he may recommend medications such as Retin-A which only a doctor can advise you about. If he prescribes Retin-A for your acne, stay out of the sun as much as possible and don't mix over-the-counter and prescription acne medications.

In the meantime, here are some home-care ideas:

KEEP all acne-prone areas very clean, using soap and lots of water to rinse. Pat areas dry, don't rub or scrub skin.

TRY over-the-counter soaps or astringents designed to dry the skin.

WASH acne-prone areas with lukewarm or tepid water, not very hot or very cold water.

READ my acne leaflet.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2002
Words:266
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