Treating acne – before you buy that skin product.

acne 2

As a young adult, a face filled with pimples can totally kill your self-esteem, but that can change if you find out what is causing them and what you could be doing to worsen them.

LinkmeUg interviewed Dr. Edward Ogwang – a dermatologist in Wandegeya, Kampala about the causes and treatment of acne.

Dr. Ogwang: Simply put, pimples are medically called acne and it’s a chronic disease that affects hair follicles and glands under our faces, upper back, chest and arms because this is where our bodies store oil which lubricates our skin.

Statistically boys get more pimples than girls. Thats because pimples have a lot to do with hormones called androgens which boys have in larger quantities.


  • Genetics – it can run in the family
  • Hormones called androgens are also to blame. This is a dominantly male hormone so girls have less of this explaining the difference in pimple occurrence.
  • Blocking of your pores. Young people should know that humans too shade off dead cells. These dead cells must come out but if they are blocked by oil from your glands then a bump or pimple is formed.
  • Acne bacteria in the hair follicles also causes pimples.
  • Stressful situations

Quick facts

Hygiene and pimples

Dr. Ogwang: Hygiene has very little to do with pimples; very hygienic people also get them. However if you have acne, poor hygiene will lead to bacterial infection.

Oily food and pimples

Dr: Ogwang: Some research shows that some people are affected by foods with high sugars while others are affected by diary or oily foods. But some studies have found no relation. Personally I tailor treatment according to the individual.

Sports and pimples

Dr: Ogwang: sports relieve stress and for people who get more pimples when they are stressed, this will work.

Weather and pimples

Dr: Ogwang: sudden change of weather may triggers pimples especially if you move to places with high temperatures.

Are you making it worse?

Dr. Ogwang advises that you watch your pimples try to find out when they get worse.

  • Anything that blocks your skin pores especially greasy vaseline, pomades and oil especially used on already oily skin. Some guys use soap on their skin but this will instead make it dry and irritable.
  • Some drugs may cause acne such as steroids used for allergies or athletic purposes.

Treating pimples

  • Observe what triggers your pimples and avoid that.
  • Wash your face if it gets too oily but not more than twice a day. However washing too often will trigger your glands to produce more oils to lubricate your skin.
  • Medical treatment for acne can be used; some like tea tree oil and Benzyl Peroxide can be bought over the counter to fight bacteria or reduce the swelling.

Using toothpaste and other home remedies

  • Many young people have used white toothpaste and it worked for them. It contains a drying solution and anti-inflammatory properties so when applied to individual pimples, it dries the bump.
  • There are a number of home-made remedies that work but young people should know that we don’t have a “one-fits-all” approach to acne. So if home remedies fail, it’s time to visit a dermatologist [skin doctor] for proper check-up and medication.

NOTE: It’s very unlikely that you will have pimples forever because they disappear when your hormones settle down.

If you need medical assistance for acne, consult

Dr. Edward Ogwang


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