Acne – Treatments
Before reading this blog, if you’ve not done so yet, it may be helpful to read my previous acne blogs:
- Acne – How and why do we get it?
- Acne – Complications and consequences
- Acne – Does diet affect acne?
- Acne - What's the right skincare?
I’ve already discussed the importance of reducing oil in the skin as this is one major culprits in the formation of acne. This should be the first focus of tackling your acne and approached in a step wise manner – stick to your regimen for 3-4 weeks and if not working, increase the intensity.
For those with mild outbreaks, good skin care and oil reduction may well be enough to keep things under control – it’s not always necessary to go further. The ZO acne-prevention treatment program is a great way to start.
For those who wish or need a quicker and more effective resolution, combining the oil control skin care with professional treatments is the answer.
Despite the name, not all peels make you peel! Mild peels such as ASKINOLOGY’s Peel Me Boosters will encourage gentle exfoliation and give better oil control than a home care product.
A more targeted acne peel would be a 30% salicylic acid peel – it is possible to get some peeling with this but many will not. Salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, controls oil and unclogs pores – everything you need to combat acne. A course of peels is always recommended for best results.
A 3 step ZO Peel will not only treat active acne but acne scarring also. This is a stronger peel and one that will definitely make you peel….you may need a few days away from the office if you’re worried about looking unusual in front of your colleagues!
Low energy LED light treatment of particular wavelengths has been shown to have positive effects on the skin. The blue light with a wavelength of 415nm causes p.acnes (the bacteria associated with acne) to self-destruct. During your treatment, blue light can be combined with 630nm red light to increase cellular energy, stimulate fibroblasts for new collagen and elastin and stimulates blood flow to increase oxygen delivery to the skin.
LED light treatments can be stand alone or added to facial bar treatments to create Phantom facials and peels.
Prescription Skin Care
If the over the counter acne skin care isn’t enough, prescription strength ingredients may be the answer, particularly prescription strength vitamin A cream. In my experience, this is a more effective and more pleasant alternative to benzyl peroxide which many have tried.
Prescription skin care can only be obtained after a doctor consultation which can be booked here.
Acne is a serious condition as it can cause permanent disfiguring scarring. For those with deeper cystic acne, swift, appropriate treatment is important to minimise the risk of scars. Isotretinoin is a tablet treatment taken daily for several months generally only available from consultant dermatologists which causes oil glands to shrink and dry up. This means that patients experience dryness and irritation of the skin and lips but can have drastic improvements in their acne. Treatment must be monitored carefully – you must not get pregnant whilst taking it as there is a risk to unborn babies. In addition, blood tests may be required to check that liver function is not affected.
From time to time there are reports in the press of altered mood, depression and even suicide linked to use of isotretinoin. However, this has not been ignored by the medical community and has been researched at great length with no conclusive evidence found to date (it’s worth noting that those suffering with severe acne may be more likely to suffer with depression). The pros and cons of isotretinoin must be weighed up and carefully considered by both doctor and patient.
Read about the treatments we offer for acne and acne scarring:
Dr Askari Townshend is a GMC registered doctor, qualified in 2002, and Member of the Royal College of Surgeons, England. He is founder and Medical Director of ASKINOLOGY in the City of London and has been practicing aesthetic medicine full time since 2008.