Acne Treatments London
What is acne?
Acne is a common skin condition that affects many teenagers and young adults. It is rarer, but can occur in children and older adults.
If you have acne, your skin becomes very spotty. The spots mainly affect the face and neck, but they can also break out on your chest and back. Acne is, however, completely different to the normal crop of spots that affect all but the very few lucky adolescents.
Acne is defined by the appearance of three specific types of spot, all of which must be present for a diagnosis of acne to be made:
- Pustules: spots that are filled with pus. These look red around the edge and then yellow in the centre and can burst and release the pus. Squeezing pustules causes further skin damage and spreads the bacteria that cause infection.
- Pimples: these are the pre-runners of pustules. The skin looks red and has a distinct lump, but no pus-filled head.
- Comedones: this is a collective term for blackheads and whiteheads, which are blocked hair follicles. Whiteheads are covered by a layer of skin, blackheads are open pores full of debris.
Acne is a skin condition that is affected by hormonal changes, which is why it is so common around puberty. Young people with severe acne should seek advice from an acne dermatologist and treatment as prompt therapy can reduce the scarring that can then persist into adult life.
If you have acne but have had no success with over-the-counter products then it is probably time for you to visit a dermatologist or skin clinic. At the Cedars Dermatology Clinic Harley Street & London we can assess the severity of your acne and recommend the treatments that are most likely to help your condition.
Acne treatments Harley Street, Elstree & Northwood
Acne treatments fall into the following categories:
- Topical treatments: usually creams or gels applied directly to the affected skin
- Oral antibiotics: antibiotics in the form of pills that you will need to swallow each day for the required time period.
- Oral contraceptive pills or other hormone-modulating tablets: these can control the fluctuations in hormone levels that can cause acne flare ups.
- Isotretinoin capsules: these are used only in very severe cases and when the acne does not respond to other treatments.
- Chemical peels: Half a dozen chemical peel treatments have been shown to reduce acne breakouts by about 50% and this can be considered in very severe cases.
- Photodynamic therapy: this involves adding a cream to the affected area that contains a light sensitive drug. Application of strong light activates the drug, which then acts on sebaceous glands and rapidly dividing skin cells to reduce oil production and spots.
Your acne treatment plan
When you seek acne treatment at the Cedars Dermatology Clinic on Harley Street, Elstree or Northwood, one of our expert dermatologists will assess your acne and then discuss possible treatment strategies with you.
Once your plan has been agreed, it is important that you stick to the acne treatments as described. There is no quick-fix for acne; treatment is often required over weeks or months and it is important to be consistent.
Acne scar treatments
If you have had acne in the past and it is no longer active but you are troubled by the physical acne scars, we can offer a programme of laser treatments and surgical treatments at our dermatology clinics on Harley Street, Elstree and Northwood to reduce their appearance significantly.