Do Medical Aids Cover Acne Treatment?
One of the most common skin conditions throughout the world is acne. It’s an embarrassing and very visible problem that affects more than 80% of teenagers, and while most of them tend to outgrow it, it can continue into middle age. The condition is so common that it’s considered a normal part of puberty. On average, teenage boys have more severe acne than girls but adult women are more prone to acne than men.
Medically known as Acne Vulgaris, it occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The pores can then be infected by bacteria and they become inflamed and acne begins. Even though it’s such a widespread skin condition, its exact cause is still something of a mystery. Some people escape with no acne at all while others are plagued for a significant portion of their lives. The severity of the condition can also fluctuate over time. Acne is a complex problem but there are certain factors that doctors agree will exacerbate it such as hormone levels increasing during teenage years, changes in hormones during pregnancy, certain medication and some makeup. It may also be hereditary.
There is no cure for acne but there are many effective solutions available. The person with acne needs to work with their dermatologist as not all treatments are successful or appropriate for everyone. Mild acne is often easily dealt with at home, using over-the-counter medication, however mild to severe acne needs more aggressive management. There are topical applications, which are applied to the surface of the skin and there is oral medication. Some patients will require one or both of these methods to treat their acne. Patients also need to understand that acne can flare up again; therefore it’s essential to maintain a regular skincare routine after initial treatment.
Acne is not on the list of chronic conditions that all medical schemes in South Africa have to cover by law. However there are medical schemes that include acne as an additional chronic condition. The Gold Saver Select from Liberty Medical Scheme covers acne for children that are 21 or younger, although it’s subject to approval. BonComprehensive and Bonitas Standard Option cover acne in the Bonitas Medical Scheme, while MedShield have added it to their additional disease list and it’s covered through their MediBonus and MediPlusoptions. Momentum Health has added acne to their additional disease list where it’s covered under the Incentive Option and the Extender Option, although some medication is excluded. It’s essential to check the extent of cover that you’ll receive from your specific medical scheme before seeking consultation and treatment.
Acne is not a serious health threat but it often has an adverse emotional effect on a person. If it’s left untreated or not treated properly it can cause physical scarring. If you get an occasional pimple then there’s no reason to seek help but if the problem is severe or it persists then you need medical assistance. The best way to deal with acne and to prevent scarring is through early treatment.