A Dermatologists Guide to Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails

Welcome to a Dermatologists Guide to Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails. Here Dr Liz Dawes-Higgs gives tips about skin care and information about skin conditions from a uniquely Australian point of view. Coming soon will be featured bloggers. Other doctors will be giving their advice about skin related issues, and also patients will discuss their experiences with their skin conditions or treatments they have had.

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Teenage Acne

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Teenage acne can be a real problem because it occurs on the most visible area of your body and can knock your self-confidence. It is very common and can affect up to 8 out of 10 teens – so you’re not alone. It affects the oil glands on your face, chest and upper back and is caused by a number of factors. These include a special ‘acne’ bacteria and blockage of the oil gland. This leads to the gland becoming red and swollen and you can then see this as a pimple or pustule on your skin.


It has long been thought that acne and diet are unrelated. However, there is now new research that shows that a high glycaemic load, or sugar level, can be associated with acne. So a continual diet full of sugar may be making your acne worse.


Treatments for acne include washes, creams, antibiotics, oral retinoids and hormonal treatments. Some of these require seeing a dermatologist.


If you have mild acne, which means just a few spots on your face that are not sore, then you may be able to keep the acne under control with non-script products that you buy over-the-counter. These include ingredients such as salicylic acid, azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide.


If your acne is more than this then you will need to see your doctor. They will often talk to you about your options. This may be as simple as adding in a script antibiotic or Vitamin A cream or salicylic acid peels.  If your acne is more severe then you may need to take a tablet to get the acne under control. This may include an antibiotic or a hormone tablet if you are a female.


Dr Liz’s Top Tips for Teenage Acne

  1. Don’t squeeze as this can cause more inflammation and scarring
  2. Benzoyl peroxide is very effective but can cause allergies
  3. Use a wash with salicylic acid
  4. Be patient – most acne treatments take months to work
  5. If you have deep painful spots you should see a dermatologist
  6. Prevention is better than cure
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Guest Saturday, 24 February 2018


Northern Sydney Dermatology

Suite 2D, Lvl 2

115 Sailors Bay Road

Northbridge, NSW 2063

Phone No: (02) 9958 1555

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Dr Dawes-Higgs in the Media

WHFeb2013webDr Liz is the Beauty Expert for Women's Health Magazine. She is often asked to share her advice about the management of skin to other magazines & newspapers and also to the international press.


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