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 accumulate 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.
We offer a range of acne treatments, including a course of acne products, skin peels, IPL 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 or chemical peels 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.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
Intense Pulsed Light can be used to treat mild to moderate acne. The IPL uses a very specific wavelength of light, targeted towards the acne-prone area. During treatment, the haemoglobin (the pigment that makes blood red) absorbs this light. In turn, this heats up the very fine blood vessels that supply the sebaceous glands (the glands that produce oil), causing injury. This very slight injury decreases oil production, helping to clear pores. IPL can be used as a one-off treatment, but for the best results, patients are advised to have a course of treatment to both treat and prevent acne.
Before treatment, the area which is troubled by acne should be kept out of the sun as much as possible. The skin should be as pale as possible so that not too much light is absorbed by the skin. After treatment, patients may experience some redness. Typically, aftercare isn’t needed, although if patients experience redness or swelling, aloe vera or ice can be used to soothe the skin.
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?