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Acne is often viewed as the scourge of teenagers, but is it? Back in my day (I’m now 60) it certainly was.

There were some creams available back then to cover up your acne pimples, but what macho-wannabe teenage boy would want to use what was essentially makeup, particularly when it didn’t do a very good job of blending in with your skin? With the possible exception of people who were horribly far-sighted, everyone who came with in ten feet of you knew you were wearing acne cover-up cream. That certainly wasn’t something I wanted to use.

I suppose teenage girls back then wouldn’t mind it. Hey, it’s makeup. Their parents probably wouldn’t let them wear the other kind of makeup at their age, so this was a step toward adulthood for them.

Today, there are over-the-counter and prescription treatments for acne that might make the symptoms of acne disappear, but, according to the Mayo Clinic, it can take four to six weeks for the prescription medicines to work and, in the mean time, your skin might get worse before it gets better.

I just realized that I didn’t say what acne was. I assumed everyone knew, but maybe that’s not true. Acne is a skin condition that results when hair follicles become plugged. The symptoms include red pimples, or pustules if you want a more evil sounding word for it.

And, is acne only a teenager’s condition? No! Adults—even adults as old as 60 and, for all I know, older—can, from time to tim,e get pimples on their chest or back that they’ve self-diagnosed as acne. They self-diagnosed it as acne because they are too embarrassed to ask their doctor about a condition that is generally associated with only teenagers. Then again, maybe it’s not acne at all. Like I said, it’s self-diagnosed, often by someone without any medical training.

But maybe that’s way too much information.

By the way, I’m speaking for a friend.

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