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Acne causes different types of spots that can become red, swollen and inflamed. It often starts at the point of puberty, but it can go on to affect those in their late teens and even continue into adulthood. 80% of teenagers get acne in some form and it can also occur in pregnancy – typically, whenever there are hormonal changes in the body. Acne isn’t medically dangerous, but it can be painful and when spots are particularly severe, can also cause emotional distress for the sufferer, who may become withdrawn and struggle with self-esteem and confidence. Severe acne can also result in scarring, so it is always best to start a treatment regime as soon as possible to minimise the risk of scarring.

Acne Causes

There are some misconceptions about the causes of acne. Many believe that it can be caused by eating the wrong types of foods, although there is no scientific evidence to suggest this, whilst others believe that it can be caused by wearing make-up or by having poor personal hygiene. In fact, too much cleaning can actually strip the skin of its protective oils, making the condition worse.

Acne occurs when the pores in the skin are blocked with either oil, bacteria or dead skin. This can be caused when the follicle (pores are the opening to follicles) produces too much oil or sebum, when dead skin cells block the pore or when bacteria accumulates in the pore. The bacteria associated with causing acne is called propionibacterium acnes or p.acnes. A combination of all three – sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria – will contribute to acne.

Hormonal changes are the most common trigger for acne, either in puberty or through pregnancy. A diet that is high in fat or sugars can also contribute, and this is possibly due to a combination of increased blood sugar and insulin release. Certain medications, such as the contraceptive pill and corticosteroids, can also trigger acne.

Acne Treatment

We offer a range of acne treatments, including a course of acne products, skin peels, ClearSkin Laser treatment and LED phototherapy. Our acne products are designed to reduce and minimise acne and with continued use, to clear skin completely. Some patients are more suited to stronger courses of treatment, and these are outlined in more detail below.

Skin Peels

Skin peels or chemical can reduce the symptoms of acne by working deep within the skin, stimulating new cell growth and the production of collagen and elastin, encouraging cell renewal. Dead skin cells are removed and replaced with clean, fresh, new skin, improving the tone and texture of skin over time. Skin peels can easily be combined with our other treatments for improved results, if suitable.

ClearSkin Laser

The ClearSkin laser is part of the Harmony XL Pro platform that we have in our clinic from Alma Lasers. The ClearSkin technology is a great treatment for acne and is the first technology available to combine an Er:Glass, non-ablative laser (with a 1540nm wavelength) with contact cooling and vacuum technology, delivered all at the same time. The laser light goes deeply into the skin and targets the oil producing sebaceous glands. The heat generated destroys the bacteria responsible for causing the acne, the p.acnes, and as it is targeting the sebaceous glands, it also helps to reduce the over production of sebum or oil.

The combination technologies of vacuum and cooling also play a part. The vacuum extracts all the material and debris that builds up in the pores, thus cleaning the area. The contact cooling is there to protect the surface of the skin from any damage, as well as to make the treatment comfortable and almost painless while the laser energy is doing its job deeper in your skin.

As well as targeting active acne, we can also use ClearSkin to target acne scarring as it stimulates the production of new collagen where the laser is targeted.

Treatment with ClearSkin is suitable for all skin types and both men and women. We use it for acne on the face as well as other areas of the body, such as on the back.

LED Phototherapy

We also offer LED Phototherapy, using our state-of-the-art Dermalux LED Phototherapy System. It’s a non-invasive, pain-free treatment that harnesses the power of different wavelengths of light (from Light Emitting Diodes) to treat specific skin complaints.

Skin can absorb specific wavelengths of light, and it can utilise this light to stimulate a healing response deep within skin cells. When different types of light are used, cells are energised, increasing cellular metabolism which can in turn build collagen, kill bacteria, boost circulation and boost tissue repair.

Blue light is typically used for the treatment of acne, as it has powerful anti-bacterial properties that can help to purify and decongest acne-prone, problematic skin, reducing the overproduction of oil. Blue LED light has been clinically proven to kill off the p.acnes bacteria. If suitable, we can also use red light (which promotes a healing response), near infrared light (to reduce scarring) or combined red and blue light to induce a range of benefits.

LED Phototherapy is extremely safe and patients may even notice a difference in their skin following the first treatment. For the best results, a course of treatments over 4-6 weeks may be required.

What Should I Do if I am Troubled by Acne?

Book your acne consultation at Hilton Skin Clinics today. We’ll assess your skin and decide on the best course of treatment for you, utilising one or a combination of the treatments we offer to give you the clean, clear skin of your dreams.

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