Knowing what acne treatment is right for you can be difficult. Often the first stop when you develop acne is your NHS GP who can prescribe treatments for you; these are usually an antibiotic, a contraceptive pill, or topical creams.
Perhaps you’ve been down that route and haven’t found much success with these treatments and have found yourself Googling ‘Acne treatments near me’… It’s at this point that we normally meet our clients on their journey.
As a private skin clinic we can offer you alternative, clinically proven, acne treatments to what the NHS can offer you and have decades of experience treating people of all different ages, gender, and severity of acne. One of our priorities is educating our acne clients; as they say, knowledge is power. Once you understand what causes your acne, you’re better able to manage it.
With that said, I’d like to share the various reasons why you’re getting acne in the first place, in the hope that it helps you.
Acne is a skin condition that has no definitive cure, however it can be successfully managed to the point where it no longer bothers the individual. Acne does not discriminate against age, gender, or race; anyone can have it, at any time.
Hair follicles are the culprit when it comes to acne; hair follicles consist of a shaft (where the hair sits), a sebaceous glad which produces oil, and a hair. This is often called a ‘pore’. Approximately every 28 days the skin cells lining the follicle shaft are shed and replaced by new ones. In someone with acne, keratin (a type of protein found in the skin cells) will be over-produced in the follicle making it harder for those skin cells to shed.
The cells that are having a hard time being shed get mixed up with the oil produced by the sebaceous glad and this can lead to a blockage. Sometimes we can cause the blockage ourselves with sweat that’s left on the skin, oily skincare products or make up; these things can enter the follicle and get trapped. The plug of skin cells, mixed with oil (and sometimes those external substances) is quite often how acne starts.
Acne can come in various forms:
So now that we understand what acne is, we can start to breakdown what can cause all the above to happen.
During your menstrual cycle estrogen levels drop (generally around day 14 up until mensuration), leaving your testosterone levels higher in proportion and more freely able to bind to your skins hormone receptors and stimulating oil production, as in puberty.
Acne is often experienced during pregnancy, typically the first three months, when progesterone is prevalent; this hormone has a similar impact to DHT and testosterone.
The bacteria (called P. acnes) weaken the wall of the follicle allowing it to tear easily (see point 3 above under what is acne). The more bacteria found in the follicle, the more white blood cells are required to fight them off.
Some of us will notice that we’ll get a flare-up of our acne if we eat certain foods, whereas some of us won’t. Generally, sugary foods, dairy and carbs are the triggers reported; this is because they increase a hormone in your body which increases DHT and testosterone (see point 2 on hormones).
Ok, good, that was a real crash course in acne and its causes hey! It’s important that we understand this though, because once you understand the causes it’s really the first step to taking control of your acne.
Jane Lewis, Skin to Love MD points out that: “Often our clients come to us after they’ve exhausted GP treatment options or if they want an alternative to medication. If this resonates, your first step is a skin consultation where we can assess your skin and discuss clinically proven acne treatments for you to consider. This is an educational session where we encourage you to go home and think about your skin treatment options, without pressure to book in”.
If you’d like a consultation, please contact us.
Disclaimer: This blog is not to be used for diagnostic purposes. We are all unique which means that our results, recovery and suitability for any type of treatment will vary. Always seek the advice of a professional should you have any health or cosmetic concerns or to discuss treatments specifically for you.
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