Monday, 7 March 2011

Skin Deep - Acne (causes and treatments)

Skin Deep – March 2011

Welcome to ‘Skin Deep’ – This month’s feature looks at ‘Acne – Causes and Treatments’. Any questions, as always – just ask Dr. Angie Winnington-Sharp or 01925 263660 & 07967 481594.  Next month we’ll be looking at ‘Stretch Marks and Scarring’.

Acne Vulgaris is a common inflammatory condition, which occurs when the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum (oil). Hormones, diet and stress can stimulate the glands to ‘over-produce’ this oil, which can then clog hair follicles and pores and cause an infection.  When these pores/follicles become blocked the environment is ideal for the bacteria associated with acne to thrive. This can cause redness in the surrounding skin, enlarged pustules, visible oils and in some cases scarring.  It tends to affect the areas on the body that have the most sebaceous glands i.e. face, chest, back and upper arms/shoulders.
There are a variety of treatment options available including laser based VPLTM, chemical peels and home-use products.  All of these offer a great alternative to steroid creams and other forms of medication that can carry undesirable side effects, especially for young adults. A typical course of action is to have a number of laser based treatments to target deeper, more aggressive acne, followed by a course of home-use products and/or a chemical peel to target the remaining superficial areas of concern and any residual redness or raised and pitted scarring. The effects on a person’s confidence are all too often overlooked when dealing with acne and other dermatological conditions, and they can be devastating.  Frequently the person involved is not aware that anything can be done at all and find it a huge relief to know that they do not need to suffer with the visual appearance and associated long-term worry that unsightly scars may be present for the rest of their lives.
If this affects you or anyone that you know seek advice today, and put your mind at ease. You can combat acne safely and effectively and enjoy a more confident outlook for 2011.