Acne Academy Steering Group
Dr Alison Layton
Consultant Dermatologist and Chair of the Acne Academy
“Acne and consequent scarring can be controlled with early effective therapy” Acne is a very common problem that can cause a great deal of distress. Long- term consequences can result from acne including scarring and confidence issues. However, the public (and indeed many medical practitioners) are generally unaware of the extent teenager’s with acne internalise their feelings and the emotional disturbance it can evoke in the longer term. It is not just a question of the embarrassment you may feel about living with acne, but an awareness and feeling of increased pressure from others concerning the way they perceive you because of your skin. The findings of this report highlight the psychological impact acne can have. With the launch of the Acne Academy website, we aim to provide a comprehensive resource for all those suffering from acne and to offer accessible up to date information, which will support patients in approaching their GPs, friends and family members.
Dr Stephen Kownacki
Acne Academy GP Representative and Executive Chairman of the Primary Care Dermatology Society
GPs are often the first port of call for teenagers with acne, and perhaps the first person they actually open up to and admit that their acne is bothering them. As a GP with a special interest in dermatology, I’m really pleased to be involved with this campaign and hope the work of the Acne Academy can help improve the management of this incredibly common skin disease. The results of the survey highlight how acne can influence everything from a potential employer’s perspective of a young applicant, their social life and even their professional life in the longer term. Too many teenagers who suffer with acne do so in silence, most, I am sure, from embarrassment but many because they don’t know enough about the treatment options. I am hoping that this campaign will raise awareness amongst the public and help more parents encourage their children to come forward and ask for help.
Acne Academy Ambassador: Lucy Speed, TV Actress and Long Term Acne Sufferer
I was delighted to be asked to sit alongside this distinguished panel of acne experts and help with the development of this Campaign. Having suffered with acne for ten years before I found a treatment which suited me, I know full well how hard it is living with acne and having to face the daily scrutiny of friends and colleagues; and for me, sitting in make up was one of the hardest things. People always had advice and tips about how to treat my spots and I found this really intrusive and found myself becoming withdrawn and unusually for me, snappy at times; in the end I just avoided the situation completely by doing my own make up. What worked for me was eventually finding a doctor I could talk to, someone I could hand my problem to and work through finding a solution with. By supporting this campaign, I hope I can help teenagers realise there is a solution for their acne out there and empower them to talk to their doctor or parents and recognise that by continually working with and talking to their doctor they will find a solution that best suits their skin.
Guest Expert: Judy Reith, Accredited Parenting Coach
“Being a parent can be the best and the worst job in the world” Working so closely with parents who have a range of concerns about the pressures their children face, I have, for a long time, been frustrated there is so little information and advice available to parents about how they can best engage with their children and pro-actively talk to them about health issues which may be concerning them. So many teenagers are left with a loss of self esteem and confidence because of the perceptions of others and an empathetic relationship with parents can really help overcome this. That’s why I have taken the opportunity to become involved with the Acne Perceptions Campaign; I’d like to use my experience to help parents develop a better understanding of their children’s needs and build their confidence to actually tackle problems that in the past they may have steered clear of.