Acne is a skin condition that can affect anyone, babies included, and it can have a devastating impact on an individual’s self-confidence.

The severity of the condition can vary, as can the areas of the body that are affected, although it tends to be most noticeable on the face. The types of blemish can also differ or present themselves in varying combinations. Although not life-threatening itself, the psychological impact of active acne can be severe.

The most common form of acne is known as acne vulgaris, which can included various types of blemish and can be found on the face, chest, back, shoulders. Adolescents are typically affected, although more and more adults are now developing the condition.

Blemishes include:

• Blackheads are dark-coloured ‘plugs’ trapped in the pores of the skin. Their colour can make them noticeable; however, they are not usually inflamed or painful and are quite stable structures.

• Whiteheads are so called because the sebum, skin cells and bacteria trapped under the skin are white in appearance. They do not tend to be inflamed.

• Papules are inflamed bumps under the skin that look red and feel tender.

• Pustules are like inflamed whiteheads, so the white centre is surrounded by red and inflamed skin.