While it’s widely regarded as a skin condition that only affects teenagers, it’s important to understand that anyone can develop acne at any time in their lives. Although it usually manifests during puberty as a result of hormonal changes, it can continue into adulthood. As well as being visually distressing, acne is sometimes painful and can lead to permanent scarring. Many people find that it also significantly impacts their confidence and self-esteem. That’s why we recommend combatting acne as soon as it starts to develop to prevent it getting worse. With years of success treating acne, our expert skin team can swiftly identify the type you’re suffering from and find effective solutions to get it under control. We understand how distressing acne can be, so you can expect to be treated with care and compassion on every step of your journey with us. We pride ourselves on our personalised approach – tailoring your consultation and treatments to your individual acne needs. Our goal is to not only help with the physical manifestation of acne, but also improve your psychological health so you can walk around with no makeup on and feel confident in your own skin. What is Acne? Acne is a common skin condition, which causes spots on your face, back, shoulders and chest. It occurs when the hair follicles on our skin get clogged with dead skin cells and too much of an oily substance called sebum. When this happens, our pores (the opening of our hair follicles) form the spots we know as acne. If you have acne, you may find that you also suffer from oily skin, while your spots may be hot or painful to touch. What Types of Acne are There? Acne falls into two categories – non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Within each there are different types, identified by how the spots appear: Non-inflammatory This is a mild form of acne and will not normally cause swelling. Types include: Blackheads (open comedones): pores that stay open and are clogged with sebum and dead skin cells Whiteheads (closed comedones): the same as blackheads, but with a closed top that appears white Inflammatory These spots usually appear red and angry. While papules and pustules are a moderate form of acne, nodules and cysts are often painful and more severe, so require greater intervention. They also present greater risk of leaving scars. Papules: small red bumps that feel sore and form as a result of the walls surrounding your pores breaking down from inflammation Pustules: same as papules, but these are filled with pus so have yellow or white heads on top Nodules: clogged, swollen lumps that are deeper under the skin than papules and pustules. They are large, solid and often painful Cysts: these are even further below the skin than nodules and appear as large, painful pus-filled lumps It’s possible to suffer from multiple types of acne at one time. What Causes Acne? There are multiple causes of acne, with the most common being: Genetics: if your parents had acne, then research has shown that you may develop it too Increased levels of testosterone: most common in teenagers as the glands that produce sebum are particularly sensitive to hormonal changes and increase production Periods, pregnancy and polycystic ovary syndrome: again, acne is triggered by hormonal changes that occur as a result of these times in your life and certain conditions Comedogenic cosmetic products: these are less common now as most are tested to avoid causing acne (look for non-comedogenic labelling) Certain medications: including some that treat depression, bipolar disorder and epilepsy – your GP should inform you of potential side effects such as acne before prescribing Smoking: can contribute to acne in older people High Glycaemic Index (GI) diets: usually carbohydrates that are broken down quickly by the body such as sugary foods, soft drinks, potatoes and white bread and rice Sometimes, it’s not obvious what’s causing your acne. We will take a full medical history and offer a genetic testing service, where we can analyse your DNA to identify anything that may predispose you to acne. From there, we can find the best treatment pathway for your individual needs. What Acne Treatment is Best for me? Before we recommend a treatment approach, it’s important we identify which type of acne you’re suffering from and why this may be. We can then explore options which may include: Skincare: we prescribe professional skincare from the ZO Skin Health range which can help prevent and treat acne Facials: we use HydraFacial, which is a world-renowned device that can unclog your pores, while also improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reducing brown spots, enhancing your skin’s elasticity and firmness, and gives it a more even and vibrant tone Chemical peels: these rapidly exfoliate your skinto get rid of clogged pores and leave it looking and feeling fresher Light therapy: the award-winning Dermalux LED device that we use has special red and blue light that is clinically-proven to treat acne thanks to its ability to kill certain bacteria without damaging the skin Radiofrequency: a treatment that uses heat energy to cause tiny wounds in the skin. Our bodies have a special ability to naturally heal wounds and when they do this, they generate new skin tissue which improves the appearance of acne scars Microneedling: using the same concept as radiofrequency, microneedling causes controlled injury to generate new skin tissue to improve the appearance of acne scars. Instead of heat, microneedling uses tiny needles to achieve this CO2 laser: again, uses controlled injury but with heat from the laser – this treatment is more intense and used for more severe acne scarring How Long Does Acne Take to go Away With Treatment? It usually takes between three to six months for acne to stabilise, although this totally depends on each person and your individual concerns. When you come to our clinic for your acne treatment, you can be assured that we will take excellent care of you and be on hand to support you at every step of your journey, ensuring you stay positive about the process and get the best outcome possible. One thing that we find is that many people want to use makeup to cover acne during the treatment period. We totally understand why, but it’s important to be aware that makeup can exacerbate your skin concerns and slow down healing. That’s why we stock a fully dermatologically tested mineral makeup range, which is suitable to use on acne as it does not worsen it. How Long do Acne Treatments Last? The length of time that acne treatments last is very dependent on the causes of each person’s acne, your general diet and lifestyle, and your hormonal changes. To maintain results from your acne treatment we always recommend following a skincare routine with products and treatments that are clinically proven to work. We’ll be able to provide personalised advice on what treatments are best for you and how long they will last at your bespoke consultation.