In recent blog posts, we have explained what acne is and how to get rid of acne by using blue light technology, but in this blog post, we ask our skincare experts what exactly they do when someone visits their clinic suffering from acne.
Hopefully, by giving you an insight into what professionals do to treat acne in their clinics, this blog post will help you understand how to achieve clearer, healthier skin.
When someone visits my clinic with acne, the first thing I have to do is get the oil off the skin. If the skin is oily, it’s a barrier, and light therapy isn’t going to penetrate through that barrier.
I then find out what type of products they are using, and where possible, I would try and get them to use salicylic acid on the skin every day, which helps dry the skin.
Salicylic acid takes off dead skin cells and because it is a derivative of aspirin, it’s anti inflammatory. Basically, I need to get people’s skin into a condition where it will accept and use light therapy.
We have also got to ascertain whether people can tolerate the antibiotics that we prescribe. For example, if they have got irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease they are not going to often tolerate some of the antibiotics. So you have taken a piece out of the jigsaw puzzle, haven’t you?
First and foremost, I like to know what products people have used before and how they responded.
If they have got quite serious acne, and it’s scarring the skin, I would want to refer them onto the GP who then refers them on to see a dermatologist, who might want to consider them for Roaccutane therapy.
Some people don’t want to go on Roaccutane for a variety of reasons, so I try and find a suitable antibiotic that they haven’t been on before and give them a medical treatment as well as a topical treatment.
A lot of people also use Benzyl Peroxide, which can be very irritating to the surface of the skin. To be honest, I don’t think the application of these treatments is very well explained to the patient.
All in all, I tend to put people suffering from acne on some antibiotics, give them a course of light therapy and look at what they can use at home so they can help manage it themselves.
To start off, people come in for an assessment, which allows me to see how bad the skin is and find out what exactly they are using on their skin, what makeup they are using, what their diet is like, what their daily routine is like, how much stress is in their life etc.
Really, the first consultation is all about finding out what the problem is and how much time and money they are prepared to spend in the clinic, because for some people it’s about money, while for others it’s about time.
You get an overview of where someone‘s coming from and what their expectations are, you find out what they have tried and what’s worked, as well as what hasn’t worked. After that, I can lay out a magic carpet of options and explain the importance of actually doing one of these.
We do a skin analysis and I have a look at what’s happening to their skin and I can explain to them exactly why they should use the products I am recommending. I think explaining all of this engages people a lot better and helps empower them.