Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi: Acne is not taken seriously enough by some medical professionals. It is not life threatening and therefore it is often overlooked. It is common to have misperceptions about the causes and triggers of acne and those with the condition find that they are often blamed for it.
For many sufferers, their quality of life can be affected, including their personal life, education and career. Acne and its scars have been shown to be associated with severe social difficulties that can last well into adulthood.
Acne is most common in people aged from 11 to 30. About 80% of people in this age bracket are affected by acne. The age in which acne is most common in girls is from 14 to 17 and from 16 to 19 in boys. The acne usually disappears in their mid-twenties, however, in some cases, acne can continue well into adulthood. Approximately 1% of men and 5% of women have acne over the age of 25. Acne is estimated to affect 660 million people around the world; it is the 8th in the list of the most common diseases.
Acne can be responsible for a number of psychological irregularities, including depression, anxiety, embarrassment and lack of self-esteem, self-image and self-confidence. Relationships with family, friends and work colleagues can be affected as the afflicted person may become withdrawn and socially isolated because of feeling a lack of support. Both the painful active acne lesions and the acne scars affect sufferers psychologically. The impact of the disease can be quite diverse as the effect depends very much on the patient individually. Acne scarring has a deep impact on the psyche of the individuals with many suffering from clinical depression. The fact remains that for most skin disease sufferers it is an emotional as much as a physical state.
Obagi Skincare – Obagi has developed a three-step acne treatment CLENZIderm M.D.™. This range is uniquely developed to combat the active disease and give much clearer and healthier skin. Obagi also has a range of tretinoin products which can be prescribed by one of our medical professionals at London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic; these remove dead skin cells from the top layer of the skin which prevents a build-up in the hair follicles and help clarify the skin texture.
Sculptra – Sculptra can give powerful results when used to treat acne scarring. Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi has developed his own advanced Sculptra techniques to treat acne scars. He uses a micro-needle to break up fibrous tissue that is depressing the acne scar. Sculptra is injected during the procedure to restore the facial scar volume by stimulating collagen production.
C02 Laser Resurfacing – Laser skin resurfacing is also very effective in treating acne scarring. The machine uses a beam of thermal energy that breaks down and removes only the outer layers of the skin to reveal a more even skin tone. The procedure also encourages new healthy skin to grow. Most patients require one to three treatments usually four to six weeks apart.
Chemical Peels - Chemical peels can be very effective for softening the look of acne scars. The chemicals remove dead skin cells and excess oils from the top layer of the skin. By doing this it unblocks pores and hair follicles which reduce the appearance of pimples and spots and improves the overall skin texture.
At London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic we offer a wide range of treatment options for the treatment of the active condition and to treat the resulting acne scars.
"Education is Key"
Dr Ayham Al-Ayoubi: medical professionals need more education about both the treatment of acne as well as the psychological effects of the condition. There is a lack of education and awareness of the long-term effects it can have on a sufferer. It is impossible for clinicians diagnosing the condition to address it properly if they are not educated correctly and sufficiently. There needs to be a multidisciplinary approach to ensure patients are receiving adequate treatment. More attention needs to be given to treating acne and to treating the deeper issues that are caused by the condition.