Acne FAQs

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  • Acne FAQ
  • How effective is microneedling for acne scarring

    Microneedling is a reasonable option for very superficial acne scarring. If you've got deeper scarring, it probably isn't the best technique, but for superficial scars a course of about three is usually employed to improve the surface texture of the skin.

  • Isn't acne just a teenage disorder?

    It's that acne most commonly affects teenagers. So about 80% of teenagers will suffer with acne at some point. But we are noticing over recent years, that actually people are developing acne at later ages than we've seen before. So about 20% of women will suffer with adult acne, and about 8% of men, and that can persist well into your 40s or your 50s.

  • What are the treatments for acne?

    So, there are a number of treatments for acne. So, you've got your standard topical treatments and these are your cream treatments. If the cream treatments alone don't work we will try antibiotics but as you mentioned antibiotics aren't suitable for everybody or they can cause side effects that may be intolerable to a certain number of people. There are stronger treatments. There's a vitamin A-based drug that we often use that called Roaccutane or Accutane which is a safe drug if monitored appropriately by a specialist. And then there are a number of non-invasive treatments, there are light laser therapies that can be used, combined with things like chemical peels.

  • Should I drink 8-10 glasses of water to improve my acne?

    Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water to manage acne is a total myth. It's a good idea to drink water as part of a healthy diet and well being, but drinking that much water is not going to clear your acne. That's not the pathology of acne and how it develops.

  • What is the best way to manage acne?

    So I think the best way to manage acne is with a multidisciplinary approach. The dermatologist obviously is going to give you good skincare guidance, but if your acne is affecting your self-esteem, then it can be beneficial to see a clinical psychologist. If you've noticed that your acne is flaring up with certain foods, yoghurt or cheese, it may be worthwhile seeing a dietitian to find out whether there are certain foods that you can cut out to see if that will make a difference to your skin. So I think actually taking that approach is a good idea. And then the last thing, actually is your skincare, making sure your skincare is appropriate and again, your dermatologist will be able to guide you on that.

  • What is acne?

    Acne is an inflammatory skin disease. It affects the hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland. It's incredibly common and affects about 80% of the population at some point.

  • What are the different types of acne?

    So there are a number of different sorts of acne, and acne can manifest in loads of different ways. The initial thing that you tend to see is blackheads or whiteheads, and the medical word for that is comedones. As acne progress, you can get little red bumps on the skin. So papules, again, is the medical word for that. And then sometimes these red bumps can become filled with pus, and then you can have pustules. And then as acne increases in severity, you can start to get the deeper, red spots there. They're the ones that you can't squeeze, they are quite painful, they last for a few weeks in time, and they're nodules or cysts.

  • If I have acne, what things can I do to achieve clear skin?

    There are a number of things you should be doing to look after you skin and achieve clear skin, particularly in the context of acne. It is important to firstly follow your dermatologist's treatment plan. Secondly, make sure that you are using the right skin care products, that probably your dermatologist has recommended for you, that aren't causing problems with blackheads. So using products that are non-comedogenic is a good idea. Lastly, it's a good idea to also look at the rest of you life. So make sure that you are eating well, that you are getting enough sleep, and that there is not enough, you know, and if you are prone to stress, as stress is a cause of breaking out, you are looking at ways of managing that.

  • Is acne common amongst adults?

    So, for some reason we are seeing adult acne much more commonly in our clinics over the past decade, and we don't really know what the reason for that is. But what I can say is, adult acne affects women more so than men and the thinking behind that is, women have much more complex hormonal patterns during their cycles. So, adult acne will affect about 20% of women, about 8% of men.

  • Are there any environmental factors that cause acne?

    So, there must be something that we are doing differently for the prevalence of adult acne to be increasing, but I don't think we have the answer to that. There must be something either about the way that we're living or what we're eating that has changed, but I don't think we know what the answer to that is yet.

  • Does diet have an impact on acne?

    So, the diet question's really interesting. So, before the 1960s, diet used to be something that everybody got told about as far as treating their acne goes. You know, acne sufferers were told by dermatologists in the '50s and '60s, "It's really important that you don't have sweets and sugar." But after two really pivotal studies in the 1960's, that completely fell out of favour. So, dermatologists then started advising their patients, "There's no role whatsoever." But certainly in the past ten years, there is growing evidence that in a select group of patients, acne in particular, high GI foods, so refined sugars and processed foods, and to a lesser degree, dairy, does actually have a role to play.

  • Top 5 tips for managing acne - Cedars Dermatology

    Here are the top five tips for managing acne. Tip one, it's really important to make sure you clean your skin. If you're wearing a lot of products on your skin to actually hide your acne, they can promote the formation of blackheads. So it's a good idea to make sure you take all your makeup off. Tip two, clean your mobile phone regularly. Your mobile phone pressed against your cheek generates heat. Mobile phone surfaces also tend to carry a lot of bacteria. So heat from the phone, bacteria on the surface of the phone, can promote formation of spots on your lower face. So it's a good idea to keep handy wipes in your bag, that you can use to regularly clean the surface of your phone. Tip three, get enough sleep. It's really important to get a good eight hours sleep at night. The reason for this is, it's recognised inflammatory skin conditions like acne can be aggravated by stress. And not getting enough sleep may contribute to this. Tip four, don't pick your spots. Picking your spots will lead to scarring, and it can also result in pushing your acne inflammation deeper. So stay away from picking anything. Tip five, make sure you take your makeup off. It's really important to make sure your sin is properly cleansed, and that anything that can promote the formation of blackheads is wiped away from the surface of the skin, particularly at night time before you go to sleep.

  • What are the benefits to seeing a dermatologist for acne?

    So the benefits of seeing a dermatologist rather than any other health care professional for acne is that it's only dermatologists that will be able to provide you every single treatment going. There are certain drugs that are specialist-only drugs that non-dermatologists should not be prescribing, so a dermatologist will have access to all the potential oral agents as well as non-invasive medical devices.

  • What is the link between acne and the contraceptive pill?

    So I think there's two aspects of that question. Firstly, the contraceptive pill is actually used as a treatment for acne, and it can be quite an effective treatment. It does take time to work, though. Most of the studies show that you need to be on the pill for at least 12 weeks before you'll notice any benefit. That said, in certain people, actually taking the oral contraceptive can make your acne flare up. And I think if that happens, it is worthwhile speaking to your GP or your dermatologist, and it may be that your pill needs to be switched to one that's more suitable for your skin.

  • When should I see someone about my acne?

    I think, firstly, if you're getting acne that is leaving scarring. So if you're getting deep red spots, nodules, or cysts that are leaving marks on the skin or little dents in the skin, that is a sign that your acne is quite severe and it requires further treatment. So about 10 to 15% of people that have acne will develop scarring. So acne is quite easy to treat, scarring is a bit more tricky. So scarring and early signs of scarring is the first reason. Second is if your acne is actually affecting you psychologically, is causing problems with self-esteem, self-confidence, that's a sign that you need to see a specialist.

  • Why do people get acne?

    So there's a number of reasons. The main reason actually is that as people go through puberty, they start to produce more hormones. In particular, male hormones known as androgens. And even females produce small amounts of these androgens, and what these androgens do is they act on the oil producing gland and they make it bigger, and your oil producing glands start to produce more oil. And what tends to happen then is that oil would block the pores. We then have natural bacteria that live on our skin and they can act on those blocked pores to create deeper spots.

  • Why does acne affect some people more than others?

    So firstly, there is a family history. So most people that have got a parent or a first-degree relative that suffered with acne, they are much more likely to suffer with it themselves. With that said, acne tends to affect most people at some point in their lives. So about 80% of people will suffer with acne at some point. So it's also just a very common skin problem, and that's because of the hormonal fluctuations, particularly through puberty.

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