How to get rid of acne?

Skin peel procedure
Skin peel procedure

By Lauren O'Callaghan

Acne sufferers looking for a cure to their problem skin can be confused by the myriad of options, from creams to pills to treatments that remove spots and ease scarring.

But what actually works? Express.co.uk spoke to Dr Mervyn Patterson, cosmetic dermatologist at Woodford Medical, to find out the definitive guide for treating acne.

Explaining what acne is, Dr Mervyn said:

“Acne results from a build-up of sebum and dead skin cells in the entrance to the skin pore. The skin starts to mount an inflammatory reaction to the area which leads to a pimple forming which can then develop into a full blown spot. Those with oily skin types are much more prone to acne as they tend to have more sebum and therefore pore blockage. Switching makeup to a mineral makeup line is sensible as the lighter coverage from the minerals avoids clogging pores and therefore doesn't aggravate the condition.”

However, if the issue cannot be cured at home, Dr Mervyn does not recommend going to the GP as a first port of call.

He said: “Sometimes people turn to their GPs for help but often courses of antibiotics are prescribed and lots of evidence now shows that they are losing their effect in acne. Doctors can prescribe topical creams containing various combinations of antibiotics and antibacterial. Retinoids have their use but can be irritating and difficult to tolerate. Ultimately one can get a referral to a dermatologist for Roacutane (Isotretinoin) which although very successful in treating acne, the list of potential side effects can be off-putting.”

One beauty blogger claimed baking soda cured her acne, but those who have tried facial washes or creams at home without success and do not want to move on to medication just yet can try a range of cosmetic treatments.

Discussing the options, Dr Mervyn said: Microdermabrasion and light peels are beneficial as they loosen material that is blocking the pores and help treat the underlying cause. DermaFrac is a new treatment option that combines microdermabrasion, gentle microneedling under vacuum, infusion of salicylic and lactic acids and LED light therapy. One can see very dramatic responses to acne with the DermaFrac as one is removing all pore blockages, delivering salicylic to combat infection and inflammation and the LED component provides blue light therapy to treat the bacteria contributing to the acne.”

Those suffering with acne scarring should try lasers, as Dr Mervyn explained: IPL and lasers can have some benefit for people suffering from acne particularly if the acne has left red marks and scars. Deeper scars can respond to microneedling and fractional lasering but clearly it is better to treat the condition early so as to prevent the skin becoming scarred in the first place.”

If you are suffering from acne or have unwanted blemishes and scars from a breakout then book in for a free consultation with our Aesthetic Therapists, contact us today.