What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition characterised by blockages of oil and dead skin cells in the pores. These blockages can cause spots, blackheads and whiteheads. It is an inflammatory condition which can affect all ages. It is very common in puberty however adult acne affects over 40% of adults.
There are 6 different types of ‘breakouts’
Open Comedone– also known as blackheads, they are caused by clogging of pores with oil and dead skin. They often appear ‘black’ as they are open blockages they become oxidised.
Closed Comedones– are found under the skin, they are a complete blockage of the pore. Often they can have a ‘white head’ this is known as a milia. Larger closed comedones, more than 2-3mm are known as macrocomedones.
Papule– small red bumps, often inflamed and sore to touch
Pustule– pus filled papules, often caused by bacteria
Nodule– large hard lump that builds up under skin
Cyst– large pus filled lumps, can be deep in skin
Acne is categorised by grade
Grade 1- Mild
Blackheads, whiteheads with a few papules and/or pustules
Grade 2- Moderate or Pustular
Multiple papules and pustules mostly on the face
Grade 3- Moderately Severe or Nodulocystic
Multiple papules and pustules, may also have nodules. May be present on areas of the body as well as face
Grade 4- Severe Nodulocystic
Extremely inflamed with nodules, papules and pustules. Cysts may be present.
What Causes Acne?
- Excess oil
- Pores clogged by dead skin and oil
- Bacteria known as P acnes (Propionibacterium acnes)
- Excess hormone production (androgen’s)
Triggers that can make Acne worse
- Certain foods can trigger acne, including dairy and sugar
- Hormone changes including puberty and pregnancy
- Some skincare and makeup products
How can I reduce my Acne?
- Cleanse skin twice daily with a fresh face cloth
- Avoid abrasive scrubs- they can cause inflammation if you have acne
- Do not pick your skin
- You may need to visit a doctor or dermatologist particularly for grade 4
- Improve your diet
- Try supplements (Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Accumax)
- Ensure you are using the correct products- some over the counter products include a lot of alcohol drying out your skin.
- Ensure you wear SPF, protecting against UV damage as well as environmental damage which can trigger inflammation and make acne worse
Treatments for Acne
Because Acne can differ from person to person it’s not a one size fits all approach.
Obagi Blue Radiance Skin Peel
With 20% salicylic acid, this treatment will clear the pores of blockages, reduce excess oil, calm inflammation caused by breakouts whilst reducing bacteria. Skin will be smoother and brighter after each treatment. Treatment time 40 minutes.
Dermaquest Pumpkin Resurfacer
Combining 40% pumpkin pulp- a natural occuring enzyme with 2% Salicylic acid and 10% Glycolic and Lactic acids, this is ideal for mild acne. Skin is gently resurfaced to promote a smoother complexion. Treatment time 45 minutes
Dermaquest Modified Jessner Peel
This advanced peel combines Salicylic acid with Resorcinol to reduce excess oil, treat current and prevent future breakouts whilst reducing any post inflammatory pigmentation scars from previous breakouts. Downtime peeling of 1-2 weeks.
LED Light Therapy
Light Emitting Diode technology uses different wavelengths to treat different skin conditions. Each wavelength (depth of skin penetration) creates a different coloured light. For acne we use the blue light with anti-bacterial properties as well as the red light which reduces inflammation.
As closed comedones are trapped below the skin, they often are not removed with peels. It is important not to pick at the skin, especially milia as squeezing will not remove them. Instead we offer milia removal using a sterile needle to free the blockage.
Deep Pore Cleansing Facial
Our signature facial, uses steaming to loosen blockages in the pores for extraction, this is great for removal of closed comedones (blackheads). We also use LED Light therapy in the facial to kill bacteria and a salicylic based products to deeply treat within the pores preventing future breakouts. If left untreated comedones can develop into papules and pustules.
No treatment plan is complete without a homecare regime. Again as we treat everyone on a case by case basis, at each consultation we advise a regime for you. Some of these products can include:
Included in the range-
Obagi Clenziderm Cleanser-
With 2% salicylic acid to actively reduce breakouts and reduce build up of dead skin and oil from pores. Includes menthol that soothes and calms any skin irritation.
Obagi Clenziderm Pore Therapy
Working in a similar way to the cleanser, this product is wiped over the skin and left on, it will work throughout the day to minimise oil production.
Obagi Clenziderm Therapeutic Lotion
With 5% benzoyl peroxide, which works deep within the pores to clear acne and prevent further breakouts.
Skinceuticals Blemish and Age Defense
Reduces congestion as well as the signs of aging with Salicylic and Glycolic Acid.
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel
As some acne can cause sensitivity, this is ideal. Includes botanical extracts cucumber and thyme with Hyaluronic acid to hydrate whilst calming the skin. Think of it as a hydrator for sensitive skin.
Dermaquest Dermaclear range
Included in the range-
A gentle everyday cleanser with tea tree oil to kill bacteria
Dermaclear BHA Cleanser
A step up, can be used once daily- PM use only. Includes 2% salicylic acid to reduce and prevent further breakouts
Soaked in 2% salicylic acid these are ideal for clearing pores, we love them for ingrown hairs!
An at home treatment to calm and reduce acne
A treatment moisturiser for active acne, includes salicylic, glycolic acids with Niacinamide (B3) to calm and repair
Epionce Lytic Sport TX
With 2% salicylic acid, great to reduce sensitised acne
Epionce Purifying Wash
With salicylic acid, spearment and menthol- acne is reduced whilst calming inflammation
Advanced Nutrition Programme
Supplements to reduce breakouts and inflammation associated with acne. Enriched with antioxidant rich vitamins: A, C and E. Active ingredient Dim ideal for reducing hormonal acne, clearing skin from the inside out.
During your Skin Online Consultation, our Skin Therapists can advise which combination of treatments and homecare will work best for you, building a package for your journey to better skin.