Acne is a common skin condition that results when the hair follicles become clogged up with excess oil and shed skin cells. Acne is most often found on the face, chest and back and in individuals with severe acne, the condition can cause considerable distress, particularly as acne lesions have a tendency to heal slowly. Effective treatments are readily available and the earlier treatment begins, the lower the risk of an individual suffering from enduring physical and psychological damage.
Acne treatments have been developed to target the three main factors that contribute to acne formation, including the overproduction of skin oils, the irregular shedding of dead cells and the accumulation of bacteria.The first port of call for the majority of acne sufferers is their family doctor. Family doctors commonly rely on prescription-only treatments that work to reduce oil production, quicken cell turnover, fight bacteria and reduce inflammation – or all four of these combined. The majority of prescription acne treatments will produce results within four to eight weeks of treatment beginning and an individual’s skin may worsen before it improves.
If an individual’s skin fails to improve through the use of the medications prescribed by their family doctor, they may be referred to a specialist Skin clinic run by trained dermatologists. Skin clinic referrals are becoming more popular within the NHS. However, individuals who are unable to acquire a referral from their family doctor may be able to seek private treatment from specialist clinics.
What to expect from your skin care consultation
The treatments offered by these clinics are often more radical than those available from a family doctor and include laser therapy, cosmetic procedures and, in cases where acne has caused scarring, acne scar treatment.
Laser and Light Therapies
Laser and light therapies for acne target the deeper layers of the epidermis. They do this in the absence of causing harm to the skin’s outer surface. Laser treatment targets the sebaceous glands, preventing them from producing excess oil. Light therapy fights the bacteria that cause inflammation.
Both of these therapies work to improve the texture of the skin and reduce the noticeability of any acne scars that may have developed.
Cosmetic procedures for controlling acne include chemical peels and microdermabrasion. These cosmetic procedures are considered to be at their most effective when they are combined with other types of acne treatments.
Acne Scar Treatment
Skin doctors can use specialist procedures to reduce the appearance of the scars left by acne. Acne scar treatments include soft tissue fillers, dermabrasion, light therapies and laser resurfacing.
Soft Tissue Fillers
Collagen can be injected into acne scars to make them less noticeable. However, the results of this treatment are only short-term.
Chemical peels involve the use of high-potency acids to remove the skin’s outer layer and minimise the appearance of deep scars.
Dermabrasion involves the removal of the outer layer of the skin with a rotating wire brush. This treatment may remove superficial scars and make deeper scars less noticeable.
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