ACNE TREATMENT IN LONDON
Is stubborn acne affecting your skin and self-confidence? The team at The Dermatology Clinic London are experienced in acne treatment and understands its impact on your psychological well-being. While over-the-counter treatments work for some people, for others, acne can be more severe and require treatment from an acne specialist.
Get in touch today to find out how our team of Acne Dermatologists can help you to get rid of acne.
What is Acne?
Acne is a highly common skin condition in the UK that causes breakouts on the face, neck, back, and chest. Around 95% of people aged 11 to 30 experience acne at some point in their life.
During our teenage years, our bodies undergo hormonal changes that cause glands under the skin’s surface to produce excess oil called sebum, which leaves the body through our pores. When the pores are blocked, the oil becomes trapped underneath, causing a pimple to appear. This is why we get mild acne in the form of blackheads and whiteheads. Spots usually appear on the face, but they can sometimes be found on the neck, chest and back as well.
Acne is a reaction to a bacterium known as C. acnes, which multiplies in the natural oil found in the skin pores, forming comedones (blackheads). Your body’s immune system reacts and causes inflammation. The skin reddens and the pimple becomes enlarged and can fill with pus.
The condition causes six different types of spots pictured below:
Severe acne is difficult to treat without professional help, but experts at The Dermatology Clinic London offer a number of treatments that produce excellent results. It is important to treat acne early to minimise the risk of scarring.
Can anyone suffer from acne?
Although most common in teenagers, acne can occur at any age and our team is experienced in treating adult acne using a range of effective treatment methods. Most acne clears up by the early to mid-twenties, but the condition can persist for years. It’s also not uncommon particularly in women for acne to develop for the first time aged 25 or older. It’s also not uncommon, particularly in women, for acne to develop for the first time aged 25 or older, or during pregnancy, as pregnancy acne is a common skin concern for many expecting mothers.”
What are the main causes of Acne?
There are several factors that can cause acne. Here are some of the most common.
The amount of keratin produced by your skin is controlled to some extent by your genes, as are the size and productivity of the sebaceous glands in your skin. Sebaceous glands are more concentrated in the skin on your face, chest and back, which is why acne most often appears in these areas. Genetic susceptibility can also affect the likelihood of developing Acne because of the way it controls Hormone levels. While most acne sufferers have normal hormone levels, women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can experience spots caused by problematic hormones. If you have irregular periods, unusual hair loss or hair growth, or weight gain, you may have PCOS. This syndrome is known to cause oily skin that can cause acne and other health problems. In those with or without PCOS acne may vary in severity throughout the menstrual cycle often with a flare before and during the menstrual period. This is due to the relatively lower levels of oestrogen to testosterone at that time of the cycle.
Bacteria, known as Cutibacterium acnes, is on everyone’s skin and is generally harmless. However, for those with acne, the build-up of oil not only clogs pores but creates the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. This then causes inflammation which leads to red, swollen, or pus-filled spots forming on the face and other parts of the body.
Athletes and others wearing tight clothing can induce a mechanical form of acne, thought to be due to friction between the clothing and the skin. This is commonly seen when sweaty and repeated rubbing of tight garments on the skin, allows a warm moist environment for the bacteria involved in acne to flourish. It has also been reported on the back of soldiers wearing rucksacks.
There are a number of medications that can result in the development or increase of acne. This includes certain steroids, contraceptive pills and anti-epileptic medications. If you have concerns over a medication that you are taking and its possible side effects; seek the advice of your Dermatologist.
Acne does run in families. Research has shown that there is a hereditary role in the development of acne. People with a first-degree relative who has had adult acne—such as a parent or sibling—are more likely to have it themselves.
Stress is often thought to play a role in acne, psychological stress can result in increased inflammation in the skin which in turn can exacerbate any skin condition, including acne. However, studies have shown that stress can worsen the condition of acne.
Although what you eat can have an impact on the health of your skin along with underlying inflammation. Changing your diet alone is unlikely to be enough to treat severe or persistent acne. The evidence of a link between diet and acne is mixed but eating a high glycaemic index (GI) diet may cause or worsen acne symptoms. Switching to a more balanced, lower GI diet may lessen the number of spots that form on the face and body. There may also be a link between dairy products triggering or worsening acne symptoms again this link is probably not strong enough to make definite dietary recommendations.
Some cosmetics can cause acne. Cosmetics and other skin products form a covering over the skin’s pores when they are applied. Blocking the pores can exacerbate acne. There are some simple steps that you can take to avoid developing ‘acne cosmetica’: Try to avoid applying lots of makeup and cosmetics products to your skin. If you do use them, look for ones that are non-comedogenic as they are less likely to block the skin’s pores. Look for moisturisers that are ‘non-comedogenic’ or oil free. Do not leave your make-up on overnight. Ensure brushes and applicators are clean when used. Cleanse daily with a oil-free cleanser or water.
“With a proper treatment plan and skincare routine in place, the impact of acne on an individuals life can be significantly reduced.”
To learn more about any acne treatment or to get a personalised acne treatment plan, make an appointment with one of our dermatologists.
What are the best treatments for Acne?
There is no single treatment for acne. Because the condition is caused by all sorts of factors, holistic, personalised treatment is the best option for achieving clearer skin.
Here are some of the treatments available at our clinic:
Topical prescription creams are a very common form of treatment for acne. They contain chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, antibiotics, azelaic acid etc which can help to prevent new acne spots from emerging.
Antibiotic tablets are prescribed for more moderate cases of acne. They have an anti-inflammatory action and reduce the number of bacteria on the skin and in the follicles.
Isotretinoin comes in capsule form and is used for more severe acne or persistent acne that has not responded to other treatments or is causing scarring. .
It will reduce the likelihood of follicles becoming blocked and will help to decrease the number of bacteria on the skin. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the swelling around spots.
In some situations acne in women can respond well to treatments that manipulate the hormones such as the oral contraceptive pill or spironolactone. Anecdotally, these medications tend to be most effective in those people whose acne fluctuates with their menstrual cycle.
To learn more about any acne treatment or to get a personalised acne treatment plan, make an appointment with one of our dermatologists.
Acne treatment at The Dermatology Clinic London
Acne can be treated in many ways, depending on its severity. Our experienced dermatologists in London can help to clear acne even when over-the-counter products haven’t worked.
When you go for your initial Acne consultation at our clinic, one of our clinicians will begin by looking through your medical history and talking about your acne concerns.
After an initial consultation, our Dermatologists will recommend a suitable acne treatment plan based on the severity of your acne and any additional acne treatment costs will be outlined.
Every patient at our clinic is unique and our acne dermatologists will ensure that treatment is tailored to the individual. Topical treatments include creams, lotions and gels that are applied to the skin. We might also prescribe antibiotics to help clear your acne. If your acne is severe or inflamed, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to lower the risk of scarring.
If your acne is so severe that it doesn’t respond to the above treatments, we may prescribe medication that reduces the production of sebum. Treatment plans may involve a combination of different treatments. Blood tests may be required for monitoring some acne medications. It may take some time to see improvements once treatment is underway.
You can request to be seen by any of our Dermatologists, including Dr Glass.
The psychological impact of acne
Acne can have a huge impact on psychological well-being, both for people in their teenage years and for people with adult onset acne. It is common for people with acne to say that the acne affects their self confidence. If you or your child is experiencing psychological or psychosocial stress related to acne, don’t ignore the problem. We strongly recommend that any teen or adult experiencing psychological effects from acne seek advice from a professional dermatologist.With a dermatologist’s help, you can often effectively control the acne.
Early treatment can prevent emotional distress, and acne scars.
Clear Skin is Possible!
The Dermatology Clinic London is a centre of excellence in diagnosing and treating skin conditions, including acne. With personalised dermatology care, you can trust us to take control of your skin so that you can put your best face forward with total confidence.
Ready for acne to be a problem of the past?
The process of treating severe acne can be long and requires patience, but rest assured that you are receiving the highest quality of treatment from our professional dermatologists. Once your acne has gone you can enjoy a clearer complexion and renewed self-confidence.
Frequently asked questions about acne
The most effective acne treatment depends on the type of acne you have. Therefore, it’s advisable to get advice from your Dermatologist on the most suitable treatment plan. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter medication such as benzoyl peroxide. Moderate acne may need to be treated with both oral and topical prescription medications, which may include antibiotic or hormonal treatment.
Acne is complex and is due to both genetic and environmental factors, there are certain environmental factors we can adapt to try to improve our skin.
Diet: evidence is mixed regarding dietary causes of acne and it is difficult to give simple guidance that applies to all. In general having a diet that has a low glycaemic index ( ie is low in sugary foods) may help improve acne.
Stress: There are a number of studies that show that acne can flare during and after stressful periods. There are many techniques to help reduce stress, including physical activity, meditation, getting enough sleep, the list goes on…
Exfoliation and skin cleansing: Washing away dead skin cells and impurities found on our skin can help prevent spots.
Avoidance of friction: in some people spots, particularly on the back, will develop from tight fighting clothing and sweat blocking and irritating hair follicles. Wear loose fitting, breathable clothing particularly when exercising.
If your acne has become unmanageable, speak to your dermatologist or call The Dermatology Clinic London and we would be happy to help.
There is no such thing as the best treatment for acne. Every patient needs an individual treatment plan tailored to their skin and acne, this may include topical and systemic medication, particular types of moisturiser and face wash.
Some people start with non-prescribed topical treatments available over the counter, the most effective of which may include chemicals such as benzoyl peroxide, azaleic acid and retinol These can irritate the skin and if you require guidance about how to use them , contact your Dermatologist. Stronger topical retinoids and topical antibiotics can be prescribed by your Dermatologist.
Another treatment option is oral medications that contain antibiotics that work by reducing acne causing bacteria and inflammation. They are best used in combination with topical treatments. Some medicines have anti-androgen agents that affect hormones that may be driving the acne. Lastly systemic retinoids work by suppressing sebum production. These will require close supervision and blood test monitoring by your Dermatologist.
It’s best to discuss your options with your Dermatologist, as there are numerous ways of treating your acne that should be tailored to your specific needs.
There are many different types of scarring that result from acne and the treatments chosen will depend on the type of scarring.
Steroid injections to improve the look of scars that are raised.
Skin needling to encourage collagen formation.
Laser treatment is sometimes an option for acne scarring.
Chemical Peels to remove the outer layer of skin.
Surgical procedures can occasionally improve the overall look of skin by removing deep scars.
However, prevention is better than cure, therefore it is important to treat acne early so that you don’t develop scars.
The duration of acne varies from person to person. Acne is the most common skin disease and is seen most frequently in teenagers. Many people will find their skin improves after puberty, but for others, the acne can continue for much longer. Adult acne can be a particular problem in women and can be hormonally driven for some. If acne is having a detrimental effect we would be happy to try to help.
No. However, if you frequently get sweaty at the gym or wear a rucksack that can potentially block pores, this may increase your chances of getting body acne.
The most common type of mark following an acne spot is a macule, this is a flat red mark on the skin where that spot had been. This will fade but may take many months to do so. In black or asian skin the red mark may become brown before it fades, again this process can take a long time. In contrast some scars affect the contour of the skin; they may be raised or dipped from the level of the surrounding skin. These scars tend to be permanent but there are treatments available that can help. Avoid squeezing spots as this can increase scarring.
Once again prevention is better than cure; treat the acne early to prevent scarring.
There are multiple ways of treating acne, many of which require prescription from your Dermatologist. It is important to ensure you are not doing anything to exacerbate the acne, always ensure that your moisturiser is oil free or non comedogenic and that you remove any makeup at the end of the day.
If you are struggling with acne and find that over-the-counter products are not working, it’s time to seek specialist help from a Dermatologist.