Acne or acne scarring can be distressing conditions that pretty much everyone will suffer from at some point, usually in early puberty. However, recent years have seen a rise in adult acne, with some people suffering from the condition into their forties.
Follicles, often called pores, can get blocked and the sebum (oil) which normally drains to the surface will get trapped beneath the surface of the skin and bacteria begins to grow. If the follicle wall ruptures, inflammatory acne can ensue. Hormonal factors such as pregnancy and menstrual cycles can affect the production of sebum. There are over-the-counter medications that might be able to treat mild acne, but it is important to use them for at least six to eight weeks as it takes that time to get the acne under control. If they aren’t working or the acne is causing psychological distress, scarring or pigmentation changes then visit your GP.
Your GP will have some a few treatments to offer, usually oral or topical antibiotics or topical tretinoin or Retin-A. The contraceptive pill might be offered to women suffering from acne. If the condition doesn’t improve then a private cosmetic doctor or dermatologist will be able to offer a programme of cosmeceutical skincare and/or in-clinic treatments, alongside prescription medicine.
Acne: What do I have to do to prepare?
If embarking on a skincare programme to follow at home then a commitment to following the practitioner’s guidelines is important otherwise it is not possible to determine whether that acne treatment is working.
Acne: What’s the treatment like?
If you are having skin peels or laser skin rejuvenation treatments then there is some discomfort and/or pain depending on the strength of the acne procedure. Click on the individual procedures for more information.
Acne: What about after?
Again, the after effects of the peels or laser treatments depend on the strength. This can vary from slight redness immediately post-treatment through to downtime that can last up to a week.
Acne: Are there any risks or side effects?
Most acne treatments don’t have any associated risks but the exception to this is Roaccutane. There has been much in the press about its serious side effects of depression, anxiety, aggression and mood changes. It also has a number of physical side effects.
Acne: What will it cost me?
Any acne treatments offered by your GP will only hold the prescription charges, but if you are seeing a dermatologist or cosmetic doctor privately, the cost will depend on what treatment they determine is correct for you.
The price of a skin peel can vary widely, but a superficial peel can cost as little as £50, although a course of treatments is usually recommended. A deep peel can cost as much as £2,500.
The cost of laser skin rejuvenation depends on how many areas are being treated and which system is being used, but a fractional laser treatment can cost anything from £300 to £1,000.