The management of acne may differ in different parts of the world, however in most countries, it should be a treatable disease, especially given the latest advances in cosmetic treatments.
With 30 years’ experience, Sue Ibrahim, nurse consultant in dermatology at Elan Medical Clinic, is one of the most knowledgeable consultants in the industry – and she has seen first hand the advances in acne treatments.
Sue explains: ‘I spent 15 years within the NHS, and one of the main reasons why I came into private practice is that there were so many new technologies coming around and so many new treatments that we simply could not offer on the NHS.
‘The root of NHS dermatologists is still Roaccutane, which in itself has its problems. I’m not against Roaccutane, but I think it was being overly prescribed and I believe it should only be the last option.
‘Light therapy treatment is available on the NHS, but because of the amount of time people have to go in for the treatments, it’s simply not viable.
‘They haven’t got the capacity to use light therapy for everybody, so although it is used in certain circumstances, its unobtainable for 99% of the acne population.’
Jan Birch, Managing Director of Blemish Clinic, has over 20 years’ experience in nursing and clinical research and has been treating acne for the past 13 years. So, how have treatment recommendations changed in those 13 years?
‘Over the years, acne was always antibiotic based and there wasn’t a lot of actual treatments or protocols’, she explains.
‘When I first started in the industry, the treatment of acne was very prescriptive and everybody just gave antibiotics. The problem with this is that you become desensitized to antibiotics, and a long term course of antibiotics can actually cause other problems like bowel problems.’
So, what’s the alternative to antibiotics?
‘Light therapy is definitely the way forward, and although it has been around for a long time, it used to be UV light which was very damaging to the skin.
Karen Urquhart is a Consultant at Temple Medical Aesthetics, where she concentrates on skincare, chemical peels, dermaroller, light therapy and microdermabrasion.
She says: ‘Acne treatments haven’t changed much in the last 30 years, since Roaccutine was introduced in the 1970s, but people are less happy to be on antibiotics long term because of sensitivities and things like MRSA.
‘Medical treatments don’t always work for everyone, so I think people are increasingly looking for alternative treatments.
‘At Temple Medical Aesthetics, we started off as a basic skin clinic but we have developed it into a real problem skin clinic.
‘We have introduced light therapy which is really the main scale of the treatments, and our problem skin clinic now focuses heavily on light therapy such as Lustre Pro and Lustre Pure Light Classic’.
What are your thoughts on the evolution of acne treatments? What do you think of the advancement in light therapy? Let us know by either leaving a comment on this blog post, or by getting on touch on Facebook or Twitter.