Contrary to popular belief, acne is not just the enemy of teenagers. It frequently occurs in adults of all ages and results from overproduction of oils in the skin and blocked hair follicles. Acne can occur in a variety of forms but is broadly categorised into 3 main groups:
- Comedonal acne is used to describe blemishes that occur with little or no redness.
- Papular acne looks more like a rash, with red lumps and no pus.
- Nodulo-pustular acne is the most recognisable form, with angry red lumps that have pus forming on the top.
With a wealth of treatments on the market and a confusing array of creams, pills and diet supplements available, it can be difficult working out which one you can trust.
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Over the Counter Creams
Navigating the endless rows of colourful bottles promising miracle cures and overnight success can be a daunting process. The important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a quick fix. You might not want to hear it, but realistically it could take these creams up to a month to improve your skin, and many will make it worse before they make it better. Look for creams that contain cortisone, it is great for reducing inflammation and calming red and swollen skin.
If you’re treating acne scarring rather than a breakout, ascorbic acid (aka Vitamin C), arbutus and kojic acid all have skin lightening properties. You will find them in many over the counter remedies.
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It might sound obvious but the woman in the pharmacy trying to sell you an overpriced tub of funny smelling cream is not the best person to treat your acne. Neither is the well meaning neighbour and that homemade cucumber cure her great Aunt Bet swears by. With the ability to identify the most suitable option for your specific skin type and level of inflammation, the best person to treat your skin condition is your doctor. Dr Yuen Ho, founder of TCS Aesthetics Central, says the commonest thing he hears from his patients is ‘I wish I had come to you sooner.’ That’s because a dermatologist is the only person who has access to both evidence based treatments and the training to deliver customised treatment plans.
3-D Deep Pore Cleansing
So it turns out it’s OK to pop your spots when a doctor does it! This treatment is actually really clever. It uses lots of high pressure micro jets to clean deep into pores. As it does it delivers nutrients into the deeper layers of the skin, stimulating blood circulation, regenerating skin cells and whitening acne scars.
One of the commonest forms of acne treatment, fractional laser technology is used to increase collagen production and even out the skin tone. It provides proven results and progressive improvement in skin appearance over the months following treatment.
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Looking After Yourself
It might sound obvious but how we treat our bodies has a huge impact on our skin. Cutting out fatty foods and alcohol, eating more vegetables and swapping to a mineral makeup are all changes that can help to support and nourish your skin as it heals.