A 2009 study by the Health Ministry at two secondary schools in Muar, Johor, found 67.5 per cent of those aged between 13 and 18 suffered from acne.
Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman said the findings were higher than other Asian countries such as Hong Kong, which reported only 9.8 per cent and China, with 38 per cent, in the same age group.
He said the problem severely affects teenagers who could become depressed and withdraw from social activities.
“They might seek cures from beauticians or buy over-the-counter products.
“Complications such as scarring tend to drive patients to seek various treatments, which can be expensive,” he said at the launch of the Clinical Practice Guidelines on the Management of Acne yesterday.
His speech was read out by Kuala Lumpur Hospital director Datuk Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain.
Dr Hasan said the guide was to help medical professionals treat acne patients by utilising the best treatment methods.
“The acne problem has created demand for a wide range of health products and with the treatment options available, doctors may find it hard to choose the best for their patients.
“These guidelines will make it easy to choose the next best option if the initial treatment fails.”
He said acne should not be considered trivial and medical professionals should provide treatment for those seeking a remedy.
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