Acne, Blemishes, Zits or Pimples – whatever you choose to call them, all come under the heading of Acne Vulgaris, which is the most common skin condition.
Acne Vulgaris is a skin disease, which effects up to 85% of people at some point in their lives, most commonly during teenage years. Whether it is mild, moderate or severe it can have damaging physical and psychological effects. For many people it is a passing, unwelcome problem, but for others it can be a severe and ongoing issue, which often results in scarring if left untreated.
Acne Needs To Be Treated Early and Quickly!
Unfortunately, 70% of people with stubborn, moderate to severe Acne never even seek help from a doctor. The good news though is that Acne is treatable. The scarring caused by acne can also be reduced through treatment. There is no ‘quick fix’ for acne but by following the advice of your doctor, acne can be treated very effectively.
The Causes of Acne
There are three main causes of Acne:
- Increased Oil or Sebum Production
- Dead skin cell build up, causing a blockage to the hair follicle opening
- Bacteria and Inflammation
If these are not treated the skin can become quite painful and potentially cause scarring. Certain triggers like poor skin hygiene, greasy or comedogenic creams and certain foods can also exacerbate the causes of Acne.
- Increased oil or sebum production
Our oil producing glands naturally keep our skin healthy but occasionally the distribution between these glands is thrown out of wack and a greater amount of oil is released than is actually needed. This can happen when the body goes through hormonal changes and can also be exacerbated by certain dietary triggers. Some people’s glands struggle to regulate an equal amount of oil despite a stable diet or hormonal instability.
- Dead skin cells blocking the hair follicle opening
When skin cells die they are shed and naturally come away from the body to be replaced with healthy new skin cells. Occasionally these dead skin cells can clump together in a hair follicle and form a plug or blockage. They combine with the skin’s natural oils to form a clump (like a cork) that blocks the hair follicle opening causing oil to build up creating a small lump (called a Comedone). These are great culture mediums for bacteria and can become infected.
- Bacteria and inflammation
Bacteria occurs naturally on the skin and a little actually helps to keep the skin healthy but there always needs to be a balance. Bacteria breeds very well in blocked hair follicles and can cause the blockage or Comedome to become infected. If there are too many Comedomes the skin in that area can become red and painful. Swelling can occur and it may cause the Comedome to rupture, resulting in a cyst or lesion that may scar. It is important not to pick or squeeze the Acne despite how it may look, as this can actually spread the bacteria and cause scarring or pitting after the inflammation has faded.
Treatments for Acne
At the Austin Clinic we have been running an Acne Treatment Clinic for over 15 years and have many tried and tested methods that give remarkable improvement. Unfortunately we do not have a magic wand and cannot make your Acne go away overnight. It will take time but these methods do work! We always tailor a treatment plan specifically to suit you and work with you to make adjustments to your plan as needed.
An initial consultation with the doctor is required to take your history, discuss your potential triggers and what you may or may not have used already to treat your Acne. At the end of this consultation the doctor will give you a treatment plan which may include a combination of the following treatment options:
- topical antibiotics
- topical skin care products
- oral antibiotics
- hormonal treatments
- a food plan
- microdermabrasion treatments possibly combined with photonlight treatments
- chemical peel treatments
Normally a follow up consultation is recommended at 4 – 6 weeks after your initial consultation to see how you are going with your treatment plan and if any adjustments are needed. If you have any queries or concerns with your treatment plan at all we are only a phone call away and our skin therapists are more than happy to walk you through your skin care regime again or give you additional skin care advice. If you feel another appointment with the doctor would be more beneficial they can of course arrange another appointment for you as well.
Treatments for Acne Scarring
The best scar treatment of all is prevention, which is why we always recommend seeking advice for Acne treatment from your doctor soon as possible. Acne scarring cannot be treated until your active Acne has been dealt with.
Most minor scarring on the face often does not need treatment and will fade over time. For those with deeper scarring or pitting there are several options.
- Microdermabrasion – a consistent treatment regime can help to reduce minor to moderate acne scarring
- Silicon gel – can help to reduce minor to moderate acne scarring. This works best on newer scars
- Dermal needling – can help reduce moderate to severe acne scarring. Several sessions are required. It helps to break up the scar tissue and allow the skin to rejuvenate
A consultation with the doctor is needed to determine which treatment would be most suitable for your scarring.
Q: Do I need a consultation with the doctor?
A: Yes, an initial consultation is required in order to tailor a treatment plan specifically to your skin condition.
Q: How much does an initial consultation cost?
A: An initial consultation with the doctor is approximately $140 and you get about half of that back from Medicare. The cost of the consultation may vary depending on the time, nature and if any treatment is done during.
Q: How long will my Acne take to get better?
A: That depends on a number of factors which the doctor will go over with you in your initial consultation. Generally speaking your Acne is not going to clear up overnight. You should start seeing some improvement within a few weeks of following our treatment plan for you but realistically it will take 2-3 months to see a marked improvement.
Q: Do I need another consultation if I just need a new script?
A: If it has been more than a year since you have seen the doctor or you need a script for something new then you will need to make an appointment. If not, reception will be able to arrange for the doctor to write you a new one ,which you can pick up or we can post out.