Acne is often present. Acne conglobata is a particularly severe form of acne that can develop during steroid abuse or even after the drug has been discontinued. Infections are a common side effect of steroid abuse because of needle sharing and unsanitary techniques used when injecting the drugs into the skin. These are similar risks to IV drug abusers with increased potential to acquire blood-borne infections such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS . Skin abscesses may occur at injection sites and may spread to other organs of the body. Endocarditis or an infection of the heart valves is not uncommon.
Virtually every adolescent has a few “spots”, however, about 15% of the adolescent population have sufficient problems to seek treatment . In most patients, but not all, the acne clears up by the late teens or early 20s. More severe acne tends to last longer. A group of patients have persistent acne lasting up to the age of 30 to 40 years, and sometimes beyond. Patients with persistent acne often have a family history of persistent acne. Acne may scar - most of the time this is preventable by using the correct treatment given in a timely fashion.
This chapter is set out as follows: