Acne affects the majority of people some time in their lives, most commonly from teenage to early adulthood. The severity of the condition can vary from having whiteheads and blackheads to breakouts with cysts and pustules. Apart from the distress which acute acne can cause, more chronic signs of acne like scarring and pigmentary problems can also pose a problem for many.
There are usually multiple factors in play in the causation of acne but 2 features are invariable present in the final pathway: excess oil production and plugging of the pores through inadequate exfoliation.
While medical treatments, such as antibiotics, hormonal regulation and oral Vitamin A, often have a role, suitable skin care always has a place in the ongoing management of acne. Good acne skincare involves controlling oil production, enhancing exfoliation and improving skin health. As a skin therapist, my job is to help patients compose a management plan to achieve just that.
I would identify products with ingredients such as salicylic acid to help reduce oil production and increase exfoliation. Vitamin A, in the form of retinol, is another vital ingredient which will help achieve the objectives, in the addition to having anti-ageing properties.
Our clinic uses the Environ and ZO ranges of products. Both brands offer effective products which allow me to customise a skin care routine to suit my patients.
As part of the consultation, I would also look at your diet, fluid intake and general lifestyle.
Moving onto specific facial treatments, the Hydrafacial, a wet microdermabrasion system, is particularly effective in the managment of acne as extracting and exfoliation are integral to the treatment cycle.
Where indicated, i’d also introduce my patients to our cosmetic doctor and nurse to explore treatments with chemical peels or laser devices (on which i will elaborate in a seperate blog).
Acne is very common but it is not normal; it is a inflammatory disease which can be and should be managed. And daily skincare, along with regular skin treatments, form part of that management.
Kelly Umbers, Skin Therapist.