What is Acne?
Acne is a very common skin condition primarily affecting the face, neck, back and chest areas. It presents with a combination of: oily skin; tender and/or hot, red skin; blackheads/whiteheads (commedones); and, pus-filled spots (pustules). Usually starting in the years of puberty, acne ranges from mild sporadic localised episodes to chronic severe widespread flare-ups, which often results in scarring-stanmore. Acne can be socially inhibiting and psychologically problematic but effective treatments are available. It is helpful to think about active acne versus the effects of treated acne when considering treatments.
Why choose Centre Of Dental Excellence?
All Centre Of Dental Excellence doctors have years of experience in assessing and treating acute and chronic acne. Our knowledge allows us to select the best treatment for you and avoid complications. We will often suggest you undergo initial treatment of acute acne through your General Practitioner but are happy to advise on appropriate skin care products and treat your post-acne scarring and pigmentation issues. We use only the best quality products and will advise you through every step of the procedure. Your skin and your health is our priority.
The Science of Acne
Acne is caused by oversensitivity of the oil-producing (sebaceous) glands in the skin to certain normal hormones. This causes the glands to over-produce oil. The oil then gets trapped in the glands due to dead skins cells that would normally be shed blocking the exit to the gland, creating black- and whiteheads. The blocked glands form a perfect place for normal skin bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) to multiply excessively, causing pustules plus local swelling, redness, pain and inflammation. Acne has been linked with certain medications, hormonal imbalances and can run in families.
How can I treat Acne?
Topical treatments (applied directly to the skin)
Oral contraceptive pills
These are applied directly to the full face and include: benzoyl peroxide; antibiotics (erythromycin, tetracycline, clindamycin); retinoids (tretinoin, isotretinoin, adapalene); azelaic acid; and, nicotinamide.
Usually erythromycin or tetracycline, these can be used alone or alongside topical treatments and need to be taken for an extended course (minimum 2 months and usually until there is no further improvement in symptoms).
Some oral contraceptives are helpful in women with acne, acting to block the hormonal effects and reducing oil production. Again, they take at least 3-4 months before effects become noticeable and also have a contraceptive effect. Some types can increase the risk of migraines and blood clots, especially in women who smoke, are overweight or have a family history of developing blood clots, so it is important that the risks are carefully assessed before you start treatment.
These are very strong but effective in managing severe acne. However, because of their side effects, they can only be prescribed under the careful monitoring of a consultant dermatologist. It is important that you tell us if you have used this treatment or are using it currently.
These include light therapy and laser therapy, both of which can be helpful in treating inflammatory acne. We do not currently offer these therapies within the clinic.
Things to consider…
Active acne often gets worse in the early stages of treatment before it gets better. We will review your progress on a regular basis and will refer you on to other skincare professionals if we feel that the treatments they can offer to address your acne will provide the optimum benefit to you.
Chronic scarring from previous acne can benefit from obagi treatments, peels, fillers, laser resurfacing and micro-dermabrasion. These treatments can significantly improve the texture and contour of the skin.
Side effects cannot always be prevented but we are fully trained to recognise and treat any issues early and safely.
What our Patients Say
"I would recommend this practice to friends or family. I was treated with dignity and respect by staff at the practice at all times. I was treated very well and the procedure to be carried was fully explained to me as was the cost. I would recommend this practice to everyone. Wonderful service and treatment."
- John Langton -