What is Acne?
Acne is a very common skin condition which occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin called sebum. This plug usually gets infected by bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes and this creates the spots though the severity of an outbreak depends on the strain of bacteria.
There are six main types of outbreak which fall under the umbrella term, ‘Acne’. They are:
Blackheads – known as open comedones, these are follicles with a wider opening which are plugged with sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. A chemical reaction between this material and oxygen results in this build up turning black in colour.
Whiteheads – known as closed comedones, these spots are filled with the same material as a blackhead but the opening in the skin is microscopic and since oxygen cannot get into it reminds white.
Papules – these are small bumps which are often red and painful to touch
Pustules – they have a similar look to papules but with a white centre caused by a pus build-up
Nodules – felt as painful hard lumps under the skin
Cysts – large lumps filled with pus and most likely to leave a scar.
How effective are Acne treatments?
Medications reduce oil production, speed up skin cell turnover, fight infection from bacteria, reduce inflammation and reduce scarring.
You will be recommended an acne treatment based on a number of factors including your age, the severity and/or type of acne you have and what you are happy to try. For example, some treatments require you to wash your face and/or apply a gel or cream twice a day which may be considered too much of a commitment to someone who lives a very busy lifestyle. Medication which comes in the form of an antibiotic can affect gut health and this may not be the best choice for certain patients either. These types of concerns can be discussed with one of our highly trained pharmacists so you can find the most effective treatment for your situation.
In terms of the length of time it takes to see changes to your skin, it can depend on the severity of your acne and where you are in your skin’s shedding cycle when you begin the treatment. Some treatments will show results from one week whereas others may take six to eight weeks.
What different Acne treatments are available?
There is a range of acne treatments on offer including topical creams and gels, oral tablets including antibiotics as well as certain therapies such as chemical peels and black or white head extraction.
Depending on the type of acne you have and the severity of it you may wish to start with a milder, topical treatment and progress on to using oral medications if necessary. You can also mix both oral and topical together in more extreme cases but this will be discussed with your pharmacist and doctor before hand.
Contact us today to get the acne treatment that you need!