skin • 4 min read
A knockout punch for adult acne
“I can’t understand how this happened to me… My skin used to be so clear!”
Recently I was talking to a patient who came into clinic with acne. She had small red bumps (known as papules) on the lower part of her face, as well as angry pimples with pus at their tips.
Now, you might be picturing a teenager in the middle of her GCSEs. But this was a woman in her early 40s, whose acne had appeared a couple of years ago – seemingly out of the blue.
She was worried that her work colleagues associated her with pimply teens and were taking her less seriously since her acne erupted. She was becoming less confident about speaking up in Zoom meetings and it was starting to affect her confidence socially, as well.
Understandably, she was impatient to get her acne under control. If you can resonate, you’re not alone.
Adult acne is common: Around 20% of us experience it, and studies show that rates are on the rise, although no one is sure exactly why. It may have something to do with pollution, hormonal shifts or changes in our diets.
For many adults, it’s very demoralising. It’s hard enough to deal with acne in secondary school. You don’t expect to have to deal with this inflammatory condition at a later stage in your life, and it can make you every bit as self-conscious as it did when you were younger.
The problem is that treating acne is rarely simple. You make numerous trips to the chemist for creams, lotions and potions. Your bathroom cabinet is probably heaving with them.
Each time you purchase a new one, you hope this will be the miracle cure. Sadly it won’t, because over-the-counter products just aren’t powerful enough to solve difficult acne. Often, GPs will prescribe antibiotics which can be very effective, but lots of people don’t like taking these long-term.
Even powerful treatments for acne can take time to work. You might also need a combination, and it can take quite a bit of experimentation to find the right recipe.
Treating acne is a journey, and a difficult one.
But if you feel that acne is blighting your life, you may not have patience for that journey. You want it under control now… or even better, yesterday!
That’s why we’ve devised a 1-2 treatment protocol for our adult acne patients.
We use a gentle but powerful laser to give your acne a knock-out punch, bringing it under quick control so you get an immediate reprieve. Then, once your skin is visibly clearer, we can use the other tools in our toolbox to improve and maintain your results – and also deal with any acne scarring.
The laser we use in the first stage is called the VBeam Pulsed Dye Laser.
It’s the gold-standard treatment for any redness in your skin, including acne and rosacea (the two often go together), as well as thread veins and port wine stains.
This is a specialist tool, which is commonly used in hospitals. Nowadays, you can find it in top aesthetic clinics too but to the best of my knowledge, we’re the only ones to have it within 30 miles.
The VBeam works by heating up the blood vessels which feed your acne, cutting off the blood supply to the bumps and pimples and quickly reducing inflammation and redness.
The treatment takes just 20 minutes and is very bearable. It’s no harsher than a rubber band flicking against your skin, and we also use a cooling spray to keep the surface of your skin cool.
We recommend 4-6 sessions over several months. The great news is that most people see results after the first session, with their spots shrinking and the redness reducing immediately.
If you’ve struggled with acne for a while, won’t this be a massive relief?
By the time you’ve finished your full course, your skin will look dramatically calmer, and we can then implement a longer-term plan to keep your skin as calm as possible.
I know that many acne patients have lost hope, but starting with the VBeam, things can and will get better.
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