Spironalactone Treatment for Acne in Essex

What is spironolactone and how does it work in the treatment of acne?

Spironolactone is a drug usually prescribed for patients with heart problems, high blood pressure and fluid retention. It can also have hormonal effects by blocking the action of androgens, “male hormones”, that are normally produced by women in low levels. Some women have raised levels of androgens or increased sensitivity to normal levels of androgens and this can lead to skin disorders. Spironolactone thus can be used in the management of these conditions.

Spironolactone

Spironolactone is often a good treatment for women with PCOS

What skin conditions are treated with spironolactone?

Spironolactone is used ‘off-licence’ to treat women with acne, female pattern hair loss and hirsutism (male pattern hair growth in women). “Off-licence” means that is not specifically indicated for these conditions in the prescribing licence. It is also used in the management of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It is not usually given to men to treat skin problems. Will spironolactone cure my condition? Spironolactone is not a cure but taken long-term it can help control and sometimes clear acne. It can help reduce excess facial and body hair and improve the thickness of scalp hair in women with certain types of hair loss. The treatment works slowly over several months.

How long will I need to take spironolactone before I see an effect?

Most women find that their acne starts to improve after about 3 months of treatment. Hair complaints take longer, and treatment usually needs to be continued for up to six months before the benefit can be seen.

What are the common side effects of spironolactone?

Common side-effects in pre-menopausal women include breast tenderness/enlargement and irregular menstrual periods. These symptoms usually settle with continued treatment and may be helped by taking spironolactone with the oral contraceptive pill. Spironolactone can cause a drop in blood pressure when going from sitting to standing (postural hypotension) which causes dizziness, a light-headed feeling or fainting. Uncommon side effects include drowsiness, fatigue, headache, loss of libido (sex drive) and very rarely, confusion and loss of coordination. As this medication is a diuretic it can increase the amount of urine produced by the body.

What are the rare side effects of spironolactone?

Raised blood levels of potassium levels may occur during treatment with spironolactone. This is uncommon in younger patients (< 45 years) and those without heart or kidney problems and in people who do not take other drugs that affect potassium levels. It may very rarely cause abnormal blood counts and allergic rashes. Animal tests with very high doses of spironolactone showed a possible association with cancer, but this has not been observed in normal use of this medication in humans.

Are any other precautions necessary?

Do not take this medication if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant as it can affect the normal development of your unborn child. Women taking spironolactone should use effective contraception to prevent pregnancy. Taking combined oral contraceptive pills in combination with spironolactone can increase its effectiveness in treating acne as well as providing contraception and reducing hormonal side-effects such as menstrual irregularities.

How will I be monitored for the side effects of spironolactone treatment?

Your doctor may recommend a blood test to check your potassium level before starting treatment and occasionally during treatment. These checks may be needed more frequently if you have heart or kidney problems or if you take other medication that affects potassium levels.

May I drink alcohol while taking spironolactone?

Drinking alcohol may increase some of the side-effects of spironolactone such as dizziness. It would be advisable to moderate your alcohol consumption in accordance with recommended guidelines.

Can I take other medicines at the same time as spironolactone?

If you are taking any of the following medications, please inform your doctor (you can check with your doctor or pharmacist): • Diuretics (“water tablets”) • Potassium supplements • ACE Inhibitors (eg quinapril, captopril) • Tablets for high blood pressure • Aspirin, indomethacin (an anti-inflammatory/analgesic drug) • Digoxin (used to treat heart conditions) • Trimethoprim and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (types of antibiotics)

What happens next?

If you would like to ask our Medical Director & Nurse Consultant, Sue Ibrahim a message, by all means do. We provide a responsive service that aims to set your mind at ease and ensure you are fully informed before booking your consultation. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex, all new patients receive a thorough consultation and medical assessment prior to treatment.

How do I book an appointment?

You can either call Elan Medical Skin Clinic on 01268 770660 between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday or you can click here to book online and one of our reception team will contact you by phone or email, whichever you prefer. You will be asked to pay your initial consultation fee by credit or debit card on confirming your appointment.

Roaccutane Treatment for Acne in Essex

What is Roaccutane and how does it work?

Roaccutane is a member of a group of drugs, closely related to vitamin A, called retinoids. Isotretitinoin is the generic name of a drug marketed by a number of companies, but the original brand name was Roaccutane. It works in a variety of ways, targeting several of the factors that cause acne and other skin conditions including the production of sebum (an oily substance produced by the skin) and the production of keratin (outer scales of skin) that block the pores of the hair follicle and cause acne.

What skin conditions are treated with Roaccutane?

Roaccutane is licensed and commonly used to treat moderate and severe acne, often where there is risk of scarring. Your dermatologist may occasionally use Roacutane to treat other skin conditions such as hidradenitis suppurativa and rosacea. In the United Kingdom Roaccutane may only be prescribed if you are under the care of a dermatologist.

Roaccutane

Roaccutane is used to treat both men and women with acne

Will Roaccutane cure my acne?

A large proportion of patients (about 9 out of 10) see a significant improvement in their acne with a single course of Roaccutane, although during the first few weeks of treatment the acne may worsen before it starts to improve.

A small number of patients continue to have milder (although improved) acne following Roaccutane that can be controlled with conventional therapies, such as antibiotics. Others may relapse after stopping treatment with Roaccutane, and occasionally, a prolonged or second course of treatment is required.

Roaccutane is sometimes prescribed for severe rosacea too.

What dose should I take and for how long?

Your dermatologist will calculate the amount of Roaccutane you need according to your body weight and decide on an appropriate starting dose. At future appointments, the dose of Roaccutane may be changed depending on how well you are coping with the side effects and responding to the medication. Most patients take between 20 mg and 80 mg of isotretinoin each day, and a course commonly lasts around 24 weeks. With doses in the lower end of this range, which are often better tolerated, a course may last longer than 24 weeks. Your acne may continue to improve for up to 8 weeks after treatment.

How should I take Roaccutane?

As isotretinoin is best absorbed into the body with food containing some dietary fat, it should ideally be taken after a meal or a snack with milk rather than on an empty stomach. The capsules need to be swallowed whole and should not be crushed or split open. Keep the capsules in a cool (5 to 25°C) dark place away from children.

What are the common side effects of Roaccutane?

In general, dryness of the skin, lips, and eyes is the most common side effect. Using a non-comedogenic moisturiser (one that does not block the skin pores) and a lip balm regularly will help to prevent these symptoms. An increased risk of skin infections accompanies the skin becoming dry and cracked. Nosebleeds may occur if the inside of the nose becomes very dry. Dry eyes may interfere with the wearing of contact lenses and may be helped by using artificial tears. The skin may also peel and become fragile, with wounds taking longer to heal. Whilst taking Roaccutane, and for six months afterwards, your skin will be more delicate than usual; waxing, epilation, dermabrasion and laser treatment should be avoided. Shaving is normally tolerated, but the use of a moisturiser afterwards is advisable.

Roaccutane may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. You should, therefore, avoid direct sun exposure whilst taking this medication. Where necessary a sun-protection product with a high protection factor of at least SPF 30 should be used. You should also avoid the use of sun beds. Muscles and joints may ache especially after exercise. Temporary hair thinning may occasionally occur. Isotretinoin can affect your vision, in particular, the ability to see at night, and caution is required in people whose job requires good night vision, such as drivers and those who operate heavy machinery. If you develop difficulties seeing at night or in dark situations you should avoid driving and/or operating heavy machinery. Airline pilots will not be able to continue their job while on isotretinoin and are advised to discuss this with their employer before starting the medication, and check with current Civil Aviation guidelines. These vision changes may be permanent in extremely rare circumstances.

Increased fat levels in the blood, and mild liver inflammation can occur but are usually not of clinical significance; these will be monitored by blood tests during the course of treatment. If you have had problems with your liver or kidneys, or suffer from high cholesterol or diabetes, you should discuss this with your doctor prior to starting the medication.

Peanut or soya allergy

Roaccutane contains soya oil. Occasionally, patients with soya allergy might react to the trace levels of soya proteins in soya oil. Exceptionally rarely, patients with peanut allergy might have a cross reaction to soya proteins in soya oil. You should inform your doctor and pharmacist if you think you may have an allergy to soya or peanut.

What are the rare side effects of Roaccutane?

A number of more serious side effects may occur although these are fortunately rare. Roaccutane can lead to changes in mood and/or behaviour and less commonly, unusual experiences including thoughts of self-harm and suicide. There have also been reports of patients attempting suicide. If you have ever had low mood, suicidal ideas or any other mental health problem, please discuss this with your doctor before starting treatment. If you have a history of depression your dermatologist may ask a psychiatrist to see you before starting Roaccutane to determine if it is safe for you to take. If you or your friends/relatives feel that your mood or behaviour is changing, or if you start having thoughts of self-harm whilst taking isotretinoin, please inform your doctor and stop taking it immediately. Your doctor will then discuss it with you and advise if it is safe to take in the future.

Rarely, inflammation of the liver or pancreas may occur. Very rarely, increased pressure in the brain may present with morning headaches and disturbance of vision. Sexual side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and decreased libido, may also occur but these are understood to be rare. If you do suffer from a side effect then stopping or reducing the dose of isotretinoin may resolve the problem. Please talk to your doctor or nurse before making any changes to your medication. The list of side effects is not exhaustive, and if you do develop any new problems while taking isotretinoin please inform your doctor or nurse.

May I drink alcohol whilst taking Roaccutane?

Ideally alcohol should be avoided completely, as this can cause inflammation of the liver.

Can I take other medications at the same time as Roaccutane?

Most drugs can be taken safely with Roaccutane but some medications may interact. It is important that you tell your doctor and pharmacist what you are currently taking before taking any new prescription or over-the-counter medications. Medications to avoid while taking Roaccutane include: • Tetracycline antibiotics • Methotrexate This is not a complete list and it is important that you always inform your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Roaccutane, and read the in-pack leaflet. Vitamin supplements containing vitamin A should be avoided during a course of Roaccutane.

Are there any other precautions whilst taking Roaccutane?

You must never share your tablets, especially with women. Do not donate blood whilst taking isotretinoin and for a month afterwards in case the blood is given to a pregnant woman.

There has been no known adverse effect on the pregnancy if a man taking Roaccutane fathers a child. However, as Roaccutane is present in semen, it may be a sensible precaution to use a condom to avoid transmission of any of the drug to females. Women should not breast-feed while taking Roaccutane.

Why is there concern about women taking Roaccutane and pregnancy?

If a pregnant woman takes Roaccutane there is a high risk that the unborn baby will be harmed. There is an increased risk of miscarriage and babies may have severe and serious defects (such as abnormal appearance or intellectual disability). For this reason: • Roaccutane should not be taken during pregnancy. • You must not become pregnant whilst taking Roaccutane, or for at least one month after stopping Roaccutane. • You should not breast-feed whilst taking Roaccutane, or for one month afterwards. • If you do become pregnant, or suspect that you may be pregnant, you must stop the medication immediately and contact your doctor, so you may be referred to a specialist pregnancy clinic.

What happens next?

If you would like to ask our Medical Director & Nurse Consultant, Sue Ibrahim a message, by all means do. We provide a responsive service that aims to set your mind at ease and ensure you are fully informed before booking your consultation. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex, all new patients receive a thorough consultation and medical assessment prior to treatment.

How do I book an appointment?

You can either call Elan Medical Skin Clinic on 01268 770660 between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday or you can click here to book online and one of our reception team will contact you by phone or email, whichever you prefer. You will be asked to pay your initial consultation fee by credit or debit card on confirming your appointment.

The Psychological effects of Acne in women

Women are disproportionately affected by the psychological impact of skin diseases, like acne, rosacea and psoriasis.

Women in treatment for skin diseases, including acne, rosacea and psoriasis, experience greater psychological trauma, including anxiety and depression, than men according to recently published research. Identifying these conditions earlier can not only improve their quality of life, but it can also reduce the impact that acne and other skin conditions.

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we understand the emotional effects of having a skin disorder.

Existing research shows anxiety and depression occur frequently in patients with skin conditions. But, based on new study findings published in the European Journal of Dermatology, researchers determined if dermatologists administer questionnaires that assess a patient’s possible anxiety and depression levels, they could pinpointing who might benefit from psychological counselling.

“The aim of the present study was to define predictors that can be used by dermatologists to refer patients for psychological consultation and psychotherapy to improve patients’ clinical outcomes,” the study authors wrote.

Although the study assessed the psychological status of both men and women, the researchers reported that the psychological life of women is more severely impacted by skin diseases than that of men.

To assess patients’ psychological states, investigators used two questionnaires — the 12-question, self-administered General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) designed to assess psychological distress or non-psychotic disorders and the Skindex-17, a measure of health-related quality-of-life issues related to dermatologic conditions.

Using both questionnaires, they tested the effectiveness with 651 patients from Oct. 14 to Dec. 17, 2014, in three hospital wards. Of this group, 508 (78 percent) completed the GHQ-12 — 56.1 percent were women with an average age of 58.3 years. Among the participants, 179 (35.2 percent) scored 4 or more, indicating the possible presence of depression or anxiety, and 80 (15.7 percent) scored 7 or more, revealing the probable presence of depression or anxiety.

More women than men had scores above the two chosen cut-off points with a significant difference for a score of 4 or more (p=0.004). Dermatological patients who were hospitalized had higher rates of probably depression and anxiety than did outpatients (p<0.001). In fact, the highest GHQ scores (4 or more) occurred in patients with leg ulcers (p=0.013), psoriasis (p=0.058), and pemphigoid (p=0.092).

Skindex-17 scores closely mirrored those from GHQ. Average scores were higher in women than men (p=0.008). And, the psychological impact was greatest in patients with leg ulcers, hidradenitis suppurativa, psoriasis, dermatitis, and pemphigoid.

Investigators also compared the participants’ questionnaire scores with the records of which patients had undergone psychological counseling. Among the patients who had GHQ scores of 7 or more, 53.8 percent met with a psychologist, and 24.2 percent of those with scores between 4 and 6 received counseling. Again, women were more likely to receive these services than men, as were younger patients.

Overall, the researchers said, this study shows, initially, that implementing a self-administered screening questionnaire can augment a patient’s care.

“Our pilot study provides preliminary evidence that the use of a simple, self-administered screening questionnaire for non-psychotic psychiatric disorders, such as the GHQ-12, may alert the dermatologist to the needs of certain patients for further assessment and possible psychological support,” the authors wrote.

If dermatologists can recognize these disorders, they could potentially provide referrals for services that could improve a patient’s clinical condition. In fact, the researchers wrote, existing research has shown, among patients with psoriasis, that initiating mindfulness-based cognitive therapy can significantly improve both the psoriasis severity and the patient’s quality-of-life.

Ultimately, investigators determined, administering these questionnaires can be an expedient way to identify any underlying psychological conditions that could affect a patient’s dermatological treatment.

“To alleviate the suffering of a patient, the treatment of psychiatric/psychological problems is foremost,” they wrote. “Moreover, better patient morale may also improve adherence to treatment, as well as health outcomes.”

How can we help?

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we see a lot of women with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and psoriasis. We understand the psychological effects associated with acne, rosacea and psoriasis. Our caring, professional staff ensure that our patients are not told that their condition is ‘only mild’. During the initial dermatology consultation, we will discuss treatments that you have used in the past and we will devise a medical treatment plan based on medical evidence, rather than anecdotal myth. You will be treated with understanding.

What happens next?

If you would like to ask our Medical Director & Nurse Consultant, Sue Ibrahim a message, by all means do. We provide a responsive service that aims to set your mind at ease and ensure you are fully informed before booking your consultation. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex, all new patients receive a thorough consultation and medical assessment prior to treatment. Click here to read what our patients are currently saying about Elan Medical Skin Clinic

How do I book an appointment?

You can either call Elan Medical Skin Clinic on 01268 770660 between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday or you can click here to book online and one of our reception team will contact you by phone or email, whichever you prefer. You will be asked to pay your initial consultation fee by credit or debit card on confirming your appointment.

Sunscreen – Who needs it?

Sunscreen – Who needs it?

The simple answer is everyone. Sunscreen protects against the harmful UVA and UVB rays which can cause skin cancer and skin ageing. The fairer your skin the more essential sunscreen becomes. The risk of skin cancer is greater in those with lighter skin types, though Asian and African skins can prevent much of the changes associated with ageing (wrinkles, uneven skin tone and pigmentation) by using sunscreen year round whilst reducing further their already small risk of skin cancer.

Which Sunscreen Should I Use?

The BAD (British Association of Dermatologists) recommends that you should use a sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection (against UVA and B). SPF (Sun Protection Factor) refers to UVB protection and the BAD advises using SPF 30 or above. UVA protection is indicated by either an EU standard mark (UVA in a circle) or the Boots star system – 4 or 5 stars indicates very good protection.

Water resistance is a useful addition if you are likely to be sweating as it will not run and important if you are swimming. However, it is essential to reapply after swimming or towelling as it will have washed/rubbed off. There are many types of sunscreen in different formulations. Ultimately, you should use one that you feel comfortable applying generously – both from a cosmetic perspective and financial.

When Should I Use Sunscreen?

Whenever you will be outdoors in daylight for more than about 15 minutes, but also be aware that UVA (which is the main cause of ageing) can penetrate through glass, so you will still be exposed sitting in a car. Ideally,  year-round as the UVA levels are fairly consistent year round and even when there is cloud cover. UVB causes burning and these levels increase with the intensity of the sun.

How Much Sunscreen Should I Use?

Probably more than you are at the moment! Most people do not use enough to achieve the quoted SPF. Some people suggest a shot glass worth, or a teaspoon per body part such as arms, legs, face and each side of the body, but I find these difficult concepts in practice, so I usually advise people to put enough on so that the skin looks completely white before the cream goes in.
It should be applied about 20 minutes before going out and then every two hours, or after swimming or toweling.

What is Altruist Dermatologist Sunscreen?

ALTRUIST: A sunscreen recommended by dermatologists

Developed by Dr Andrew Birnie in partnership with some of the best formulation scientists in Europe. Altruist has a broad range of photostable UV filters, including the most advanced filter Tinosorb A2B. Fabulous cosmetic feel – easily absorbed, non-sticky and no residue. Hypoallergenic and fragrance free.

According to Sue Ibrahim, our Nurse Consultant in Dermatology, cost should not be a barrier to regular use of sunscreen. Altruist is able to offer sunscreen at an affordable price, because of reduced profit margins and unnecessary marketing costs.  ‘It is our mission to reduce the incidence of skin cancer through the increased use of quality sunscreen together with better education and awareness. This sunscreen has been formulated to be acceptable to all skin types. Moreover, Altruist donates to charities supporting children with albinism’.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF50 100ml only costs £4 from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex

  • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • Exceeds EU recommendations for UVA protection
  • Clinically tested
  • Easily absorbed, non-sticky and no residue
  • Daily use on face and body
  • Excellent tolerability
  • Fragrance and paraben free
  • Water resistant

Click here to purchase this product now.

Altruist Sunscreen SPF30 200ml only costs £4 from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex

  • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • SPF 30 and exceeds EU recommendations for UVA protection
  • Clinically tested
  • Fabulous cosmetic feel – easily absorbed, non-sticky and no residue
  • Suitable for daily use on the face and body
  • Excellent tolerability
  • Hypoallergenic formulation
  • Fragrance and paraben free
  • Water resistant

Click here to purchase this product now.

1. UV protection: 
A broad rang of photostable and photostabilised UV filters, including the most advanced filter available Tinosorb A2B, to ensure that quality protection is provided across the whole UVA/UVB spectrum. All of these are formulated at moderate concentrations in order to avoid any adverse reaction. This results in high quality UVA and UVB protection, exceeding EU standards.

2. Moisturising
To keep sufficient moisture in the skin glycerine (3%) and panthenol (0.3%) are formulated into the water phase at moderate concentration, to maintain hydration without exaggerating the moisturising effect associated with excessive glycerine.

3. Emulsion
The emulsion is formulated to optimise the distribution of sun filters on the skin, resulting in high SPF levels.

4. Preservatives 
Molecules with known allergic potential like parabens, CMIT, MIT, bronopol, benzyl alcohol, IPBC etc. are avoided. Therefore a mixture of phenoxyethanol (0.3 %), silver choride (20 ppm), piroctone olamine (0.1 %) supported by caprylyl glycol was selected. This combination is especially designed to avoid the odour of many preservatives and to minimise any risk of skin sensitisation or allergy

 

Under The Same Sun Charity

Altruist and Elan Medical Skin Clinic supports Under The Same Sun, a charity supporting children with albinism in Tanzania and the rest of Africa. We believe everybody should have an equal opportunity to be protected from the sun. With each purchase we will donate 10p. By buying Altruist, you can help albino children in Africa!   

Why is having albinism such an issue?

In Tanzania, an many parts of Africa, having albinism is a sentence to a harsh life and early death.

Albinism is a genetic condition, more prevalent in Africa. It results in a person looking white due to a lack of pigmentation in the hair, skin and eyes. People with albinism are visually impaired and highly vulnerable to sun exposure resulting in high rates of skin cancer.

Societal ignorance about the condition, as well as long-standing beliefs associated with witchcraft, lead to the dehumanization of people with albinism. It is widely believed that the body parts of people with albinism, used by witch doctors in magical charms and potions, bring wealth, health and good luck. This leads to brutal attacks resulting in maiming, death and the black market trafficking of albino body parts.Since 2006, more than 300 attacks have been recorded in 25 countries, and likely many more have gone unrecorded.

Under The Same Sun supports people with albinism in Tanzania with hats, locally made sunscreen,  education and involves in the local community.

Rosacea Update – New Treatments Available

Rosacea is a chronic but treatable condition that primarily affects the central face, and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. Although rosacea may develop in many ways and at any age, patient surveys indicate that it typically begins any time after age 30 as flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Studies have shown that over time the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. Left untreated, inflammatory bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases — particularly in men — the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue. In as many as 50 percent of patients the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.

Rosacea

Rosacea can affect women in their mid-thirties.

Although rosacea can affect all segments of the population and all skin types, individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are believed to be at greatest risk. The disorder is more frequently diagnosed in women, but tends to be more severe in men. There is also evidence that rosacea may tend to run in families, and may be especially prevalent in people of northern or eastern European descent.

What causes rosacea?

Although the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, various theories about the disorder’s origin have evolved over the years. These have often related to its primary outward signs and symptoms: flushing and redness, bumps and pimples, and the small visible blood vessels called telangiectasia. The range of possible causes has included defects in the immune system, nervous system and facial blood vessels, and the presence of microbes and Demodex mites. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a susceptibility to developing the disorder may be inherited, and genetic studies are now underway.

Microscopic Demodex mites are a natural part of the human microbiome — the ecological community of microorganisms that live within and on the body. Two species of Demodex are found in humans. Demodex folliculorum live in hair follicles, primarily on the face, as well as in the meibomian glands of the eyelids; Demodex brevislive in the sebaceous glands of the skin.

While Demodex folliculorum are found on the skin of all humans, they frequently occur in greater numbers in those with rosacea. There has been much debate as to whether their increased numbers are a cause or result of rosacea. However, evidence appears to be mounting that an overabundance of Demodex may possibly trigger an immune response in people with rosacea, or that the inflammation may be caused by certain bacteria associated with the mites.

Rosacea can exacerbate causing inflamed spots.

How do we treat rosacea?

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we treat rosacea with prescription only medications and phototherapy.

  1. Oral medication is prescribed to reduce the inflammation in the skin.
  2. Topical medication is prescribed to keep the Demodex folliculorum mite off of the face at night. We no longer recommend topical antibiotic creams such like Metronidazole Gel, as rosacea is not a bacterial infection.
  3. In severe or resistant cases, stronger oral and topical medication is required.
  4. Rosacea Phototherapy can be a useful adjunct to medical treatment as it reduces the inflammatory lesions.
  5. Lasers can be used to reduce the appearance of telangectasias (dilated blood vessels) and thickening of the skin.

Click here to read what our patients are currently saying about Elan Medical Skin Clinic.

Can the weather affect rosacea?

Sun exposure, hot weather, humidity, cold and wind have all been known to aggravate rosacea for many individuals. The following are defense strategies you can use:

  • Always protect your face from the sun. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF (sun-protection factor) of 15 or higher year round. If necessary, use a formulation developed for children to avoid irritation. Wear a broad-brimmed hat. Minimize midday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) exposure to the sun during summer months.
  • Stay in a cool, air-conditioned environment on hot, humid days. If this is impossible, those affected should sip cold drinks and try not to overexert themselves. If necessary, chew on ice chips to lower facial temperature or spray the face with cool water.
  • Combat cold by covering your cheeks and nose with a scarf. In winter, rosacea sufferers also may don a ski mask when participating in outdoor sports or activities, as well as cover up on windy days. If these conditions aggravate your rosacea, limiting your time outdoors in cold weather may also help.
  • Use a moisturizer daily during cold weather. This protects against the naturally drying effects of cold and wind.

Can stress aggravate rosacea?

Stress ranks high on the list of tripwires for many rosacea sufferers. However, in a survey of rosacea patients affected by stress, most of those using stress management techniques said they had successfully reduced their flare-ups. When feeling overwhelmed, try some of the following stress reducers:

Men can get rosacea too and it can get worse very quickly in men

  • Take care of your whole self. Eat healthy, exercise moderately and get the right amount of sleep. It may also help to cut down on caffeine.
  • When under stress, try deep-breathing exercises. Inhale and count to 10, then exhale and count to 10. Repeat this exercise several times.
  • Use visualization techniques. Sit in a quiet place, close your eyes and visualize a beautiful vacation spot or favourite pleasurable activity or painting to reduce stress. Hold the image for several minutes to feel its peacefulness and beauty.
  • Stretch out and relax all your muscles. Relax muscles starting at the top of the head and work down to the toes for a whole-body stress reliever.

Can foods and beverages affect rosacea?

Steaming hot soup or coffee, spicy nachos, a glass of wine — no matter how appetizing they sound, these foods and beverages may be a problem for some rosacea sufferers. Hot liquids may cause flushing. Spicy foods like oriental mustard sauce or salsa can raise a sweat, and alcoholic beverages may trigger flare-ups in many cases. These tips will help you select rosacea-friendly meals:

  • Monitor how your rosacea reacts to alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverages often induce flare-ups in rosacea sufferers. If alcohol aggravates your condition, reduce your intake or avoid alcohol entirely.
  • Avoid “hot” spices such as white and black pepper, paprika, red pepper and cayenne, which are common rosacea tripwires.

Can exercise make my rosacea worse?

While exercise may be part of a healthy lifestyle, it could actually be harmful to rosacea sufferers if it causes their condition to flare up. Moderation is the key. And even then, take these precautions:

  • Avoid heavy exertion or high-intensity workouts that cause overheating and bring on flushing. Replace them with low-intensity exercise routines, which often can be just as effective.
  • Try exercising for shorter, more frequent intervals. For instance, exercise for 15 minutes three times a day, rather than exercising all at once.
  • When exercising outdoors during warm weather, choose early morning or early evening hours when it’s cooler. No matter what time of day, protect your face from the sun and avoid hot weather exercise.
  • When exercising indoors, make sure the room is well ventilated. Run a fan, open the window for a breeze or turn on the air conditioning to avoid overheating.
  • Try to stay as cool as possible when exercising. Drape a cool, damp towel around your neck, drink cold fluids or chew on ice chips. You can also keep a bottle filled with cool water to spray your face.

Bathing and cleansing can also cause flare-ups

Rosacea sufferers often must modify their approach to cleansing and bathing. The following tips can help you adopt a personal-care routine that soothes and calms your facial redness:

  • Avoid hot water, hot tubs and saunas. These can bring on flushing and aggravate your condition.
  • Begin each day with a thorough and gentle facial cleansing. Use a gentle cleanser that is not grainy or abrasive and spread it with your fingertips. Rinse your face with lukewarm water to remove all dirt and soap, and use a thick cotton towel to gently blot the face dry.
  • Never pull, tug, scratch or treat your face harshly. Avoid any rough washcloths, loofahs, brushes or sponges.
  • Let your face thoroughly air dry before applying any medication or skin-care products. Let your face rest for a few minutes before applying topical medication. Then allow the medication to dry completely for five to 10 minutes before applying any moisturizer or makeup.
  • Men should use an electric shaver rather than a blade. If a blade is preferred, never use a dull blade that requires extra scraping for a clean shave. Avoid shaving lotions that burn or sting.
  • Repeat the cleansing process at night. Gently cleanse your face each night to remove any makeup or dirt accumulated throughout the day. Air dry and apply your topical medication.

Choose your skin-care products carefully

Rosacea sufferers can use a variety of skin-care products to their advantage. Moisturizers can reduce flakiness and makeups can camouflage symptoms and improve appearance. You may have to experiment until you find the products that work best for your individual condition. Here are some general guidelines that will help you select products carefully:

  • Steer clear of ingredients that sting, burn or cause facial redness. Some ingredients to avoid include alcohol, witch hazel, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil or clove oil.
  • Select fragrance-free products. If you must choose a product that contains a fragrance, be sure that it appears at the end of the list of ingredients. The further down it appears, the less fragrance the product contains.
  • Use makeup to hide blemishes and cover redness. Spot application of makeup may be used to cover blemishes and visible blood vessels, and green-tinted foundations are available at most cosmetic counters to mask general redness. They can be followed by a skin-tone foundation. Avoid powders, which can make dry flaky skin look worse.

Other medical conditions can make rosacea worse

Physicians have found that some underlying health conditions and temporary ailments can stimulate a flushing response and trigger rosacea flare-ups. The following conditions should be ruled out or treated by your doctor as appropriate to help bring flare-ups under control:

  • Hot flashes associated with menopause. The hot flashes that often occur before or during menopause have brought on rosacea’s first appearance in some women.
  • Fevers, coughs and colds. Although intermittent, these ills may provoke the flushing that begins a rosacea flare-up.
  • Systemic diseases. Occasionally systemic diseases, such as high blood pressure, have been identified as causes of rosacea flare-ups. When flushing is accompanied by itching, breathing difficulties or diarrhoea, seek medical attention.

Certain medications can worsen rosacea

Certain drugs can cause facial flushing, resulting in rosacea flare-ups. If you experience flare-ups as a result of the following drugs, discuss the problem with your doctor:

  • Vasodilator drugs. These drugs are used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease because of their ability to dilate the blood vessels. In some patients, they have been reported to cause symptoms called “vasodilator rosacea.”
  • Topical steroids. Long-term use of topical steroids has been found to aggravate rosacea or induce rosacea-like symptoms. In one study, symptoms improved for patients who discontinued the steroids and were prescribed antibiotics.

Spironolactone for Acne

What is Spironolactone?

Spironolactone is a medication that has been around since the 1950s. It functions as a diuretic medication (promotes water loss) and is licensed in the UK for the treatment of blood pressure and heart failure.

So what does this have to do with acne?

As with many medications, they often come onto the market for a specific medical problem and then we realise the drug itself has a number of other actions. In otherwise fit, young healthy women, without a background of kidney or heart problems, it is also an extremely effective drug for adult acne.

Spironolactone

Acne can be distressing if you suffer from PCOS

How does Spironolactone work for acne?

Acne is caused by an interplay between hormones and genetics. Hormones known as androgens drive oil production in the skin which is part of the process in acne development. Spironolactone is an ‘anti-androgen’ drug and reduces the level of androgen hormones in the skin. The knock-on effect is reduced activity of the oil glands. Scientific studies have shown that it is able to reduce oil production at starting doses of 50-100mg daily.

Who is Spironolactone useful for?

Spironolactone

Spironolactone is often a good treatment for women with PCOS

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we often use Spironolactone in the following circumstances:

  1. Post-teenage women with acne
  2. Acne that flares up with menstruation
  3. Women with acne that aren’t suitable for Roaccutane or do not wish to take it
  4. Women with a condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Who should not take Spironolactone?

It is not a suitable treatment for male patients with acne, as it is not a good idea to reduce androgen hormones in men. It is also not suitable for those with underlying heart or kidney problems. It should also not be taken if you are trying to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What happens next?

If you would like to discuss this or any other treatment for acne, we provide a responsive service that aims to set your mind at ease and ensure you are fully informed before booking your dermatology consultation.

How do I book an appointment?

You can either call Elan Medical Skin Clinic on 01268 770660 between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday or you can click here to fill in a contact form and one of our reception team will contact you by phone or email, whichever you prefer. You will be asked to pay your initial consultation fee by credit or debit card on confirming your appointment.

Anal Skin Tag Removal in Essex

Anal Skin Tag removal does not have to be a pain in the bum!

Anal skin tags very often appear as a result of piles or haemorrhoids, where the skin has stretched and not quite shrunk back again, leaving a fleshy flap of skin. They are quite common after childbirth.

Patients are often embarrassed by them and find that wiping and feeling clean is difficult. However, help is at hand……

Anal skin tags

Anal skin tags can be an embarrassing problem.

PRIVATE SKIN TAG REMOVAL

If you are considering the removal of the anal skin tag and have been let down by your GP and NHS as they don’t offer this service as they consider it cosmetic then don’t worry.

Elan Medical Skin Clinic specialises in removing skin tags from around the anus in a simple gentle procedure that takes less than 30 minutes.

We often find most patients are delighted once they have undergone treatment and often surprised how quick and easy the procedure is and how fast they heal.

Anal Skin Tag Consultations

We charge £95 for a minor surgery consultation. Same day procedures are only undertaken where the procedure is deemed appropriate to do so AND the patient understands the full extent of the costs, risks and potential side effects and is consenting to proceed on that knowledge

Anal Skin Tag Surgery

Anus skin tag removal is also known as sentinel skin tag removal is usually carried out as a surgical procedure.

This is a minor procedure and is carried out using a local anaesthetic. Anus skin tag surgery is a relatively simple procedure using radiowave surgery to carefully and thoroughly remove the skin tag. It is key to ensure a neat wound which will heal quickly and leave minimal scarring, as anal skin tags are often the result of trauma caused by haemorrhoids or childbirth.

It can sometimes be carried out at the same appointment as the initial consultation, depending on the size and complexity of the skin tag. This saves the need to book another appointment.

Anal skin tags

Our friendly staff are here to make you feel comfortable

Some wounds might have a small temporary dressing while others may be left open.  We will explain exactly what to expect at your consultation so that you have all the facts in advance of any procedure.

Anus Skin Tag Removal Recovery

Given the location of anal skin tags, patients usually expect the recovery process to be worse than it actually is.

The first 24 hours are likely to be the most uncomfortable as the anaesthetic wears off. However, any pain can be managed using standard painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. After the first 24 hours it should feel noticeably better, but continue to take occasional painkillers if necessary.

It is important to allow the best possible healing conditions for your skin tag. Depending on where the skin tag is located, you may be advised to sit in a certain way to avoid putting pressure on any wound for a day or two. This will be explained in the consultation before you decide to go ahead with treatment.

You should avoid strenuous exercise for a week to avoid straining the wound although it is important to stay active and a daily gentle walk is recommended to boost your body’s natural circulation and healing.

Cleanliness is, of course, paramount in the anal area. Bathe or shower daily and use a mild salt wash around the wound. Keep a healthy diet high in fibre, fruit and veg to avoid any constipation, as any straining in going to the toilet can put a strain on the wound.

After the first week, the initial wound should be healing well, but if you have any concerns or queries, we are always available for advice.

Anal Skin Tag Removal Aftercare Advice

  • Expect the area to be sore or painful for first few days. This does then ease off and is supplemented with medication to ensure recovery is comfortable.
  • Patients are free to carry on with most normal activities after a few days in most cases.
  • It is best to plan to have a few initial days rest after the procedure and to avoid strenuous exercise for 1-2 weeks.
  • Infection is rare as we cover the procedure with antibiotics.
  • Going to toilet afterwards can be painful for a few days to 1-2 weeks depending on how large the removed tags are.
  • The aftercare package ensures your recovery is comfortable with dietary advice and medication.

Costs of anal skin tag removal are from £395

Click here to read what our patients are currently saying about Elan Medical Skin Clinic

Ageing Lips Need a Gentle Touch

As we age, typically in the late 40s, we begin to lose dental and structural support in the lower face and experience volume loss in the soft tissues in general and in the lips specifically. Ageing lips are a concern to many women.

Our lips thin with age and demonstrate less fullness and projection when viewed both in front and in profile This process is called soft tissue atrophy and commonly affects the lips and corner of the mouth. As these areas become less plump, they wrinkle more easily and the mouth develops a “mouth frown”, a very ageing sign. Another ageing sign are smoker’s lines or vertical lip wrinkles in the skin on the top lip resulting from the constant use of certain facial expressions such as pursing lips, chewing, sipping from a straw or bottle and even talking. These wrinkles can become evident form an early age especially if one has an overactive muscle around the mouth.

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic, our Nurse Consultant has over 20 years experience in creating natural looking improvements aroud the lips and mouth. ‘ Treatments should always look natural and not over-done”.

“We often combine a combination of treatments to the lip and mouth area, in order to achieve a natural looking lips” says Sue Ibrahim, “and ageing lips require a very gentle touch”.

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest standards of care.

Click here to read what our patients are currently saying about treatments at Elan Medical Skin Clinic.

Book your free consultation today!

Botox in Rayleigh, Essex

Botox treatment has been available at our clinic in Rayleigh for almost twenty years now.

Botox is a brand name of a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are other brand names for botulinum, such as Bocouture and Azzalure. In large amounts, this toxin can cause botulism, which you probably associate with foodpoisoning. Despite the fact that one of the most serious complications of botulism is paralysis, scientists have discovered a way to use it as an advantage in modern day medicine. Small, diluted amounts can be directly injected into specific muscles causing controlled weakening of the muscles. Botox is often used by ophthalmologists in the treatment of squints and tics. It can also be used in the treatment of urinary incontinence.

How Does Botox Work?

Botox blocks signals from the nerves to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract, which causes the wrinkles to relax and soften.

It is most often used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye) and frown lines. Wrinkles caused by sun damage and gravity will not respond to Botox.

How Is a Botox Procedure Performed?

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex, all new patients receive a thorough consultation and medical assessment prior to treatment. The consultation process includes a general assessment of your needs and a discussion about the range of treatment options available, both at Elan Medical Skin Clinic and those available elsewhere, including no treatment at all.

We will work with you and are here to help you make the right decision. We will advise you of potential outcomes, including the side effects and all known risks associated with each treatment. Most consultations last 30 minutes and you will leave feeling fully informed and assessed. This initial consultation is your first step to resolving something about your body that you are unhappy about and our hope is that when two committed parties work together, desired results are achieved.

Getting Botox takes only a few minutes and no anesthesia is required. The medicine is injected with a fine needle into specific muscles with only minor discomfort. It generally takes three to seven days to take full effect and it is best to avoid alcohol at least one week prior to treatment.  Aspirin and anti-inflammatory medications should be stopped two weeks before treatment as well in order to reduce bruising.

What happens next?

If you would like to ask our Medical Director & Nurse Consultant, Sue Ibrahim a message, by all means, do. We provide a responsive service that aims to set your mind at ease and ensure you are fully informed before booking your consultation.

Click here to read what our patients are currently saying about Elan Medical Skin Clinic

 

Hyperpigmentation in Skins of Colour

Ask most ethnic women what their biggest skincare concern is and they’re likely to say hyperpigmentation. Caused by the overproduction of melanin, hyperpigmentation may be difficult to correct, but it’s very easy to avoid. All skin, no matter the ethnicity, will produce varying amounts of pigment.

Beautiful black woman smiling - London skin expert from Elan Medical Skin Clinics can smooth and soothe your skin

Skins of colour are more prone to hyperpigmentation

‘The darker you are the more solid and dense the area of pigmentation will be, whereas the pigmentation in Caucasian skin is more freckled,’ explains ours skin specialist, Sue Ibrahim.

The amount of pigment we produce also correlates with the amount of protection we require from the environment.

So a person living in hotter climes like Africa will naturally produce more pigment to protect the skin against harmful UV rays.

‘Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is too much pigmentation in the skin,’ says Sue Ibrahim.

‘This is usually found all over the face.

‘Melasma is another form of pigmentation which occurs, usually during hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and can be found in specific areas like the upper lip and cheeks.

The other type of pigmentation women suffer from is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which is caused by scars left from spots and acne. Although overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays plays a part in causing hyperpigmentation, there are other factors to consider. ‘Hyperpigmentation occurs when there’s an irregular production of melanin,’ explains Sue Ibrahim ‘But it’s not just caused by the sun – lifestyle, trauma to the skin and hormonal changes all play a part too.’

Do you have hyperpigmentation?

Although there is little evidence to suggest hyperpigmentation relates specifically to ethnicity, it’s generally accepted to be more prominent in ethnic skin due to the darker skin colour.

‘Dark skin has more melanin, and when an injury is caused to the skin, the cells which produce melanin go into overdrive and distribute it unevenly causing darker patches,’ explains Sue. The hyperpigmented parts of the skin will be a lot darker than the rest of the skin, which makes it difficult to cover up. Caucasian skin is also prone to suffer hyperpigmentation, although it isn’t as obvious. ‘Hyperpigmentation is triggered by the sun in paler, Caucasian skin tones and this can lead to freckles, sun spots and discolouration as the skin ages.’ Paler skin suffers from hypopigmentation, which occurs when there isn’t enough pigment in the skin. ‘This is usually the result of a skin disorder such as vitiligo”. Due to the lack of melanin, individuals will be at far higher risk of burning, so should opt for a good SPF and look at treatments which help even skin tone, making the blemishes less obvious.

Treatment for hyperpigmentation

Treating hyperpigmentation is difficult and can take weeks of using prescription-only creams before you start seeing visible results. ‘Hyperpigmentation is commonly the result of either hormonal changes or sun damage so prevention is desirable whenever possible.’ In the event it does occur, you’ll need to combine appropriate treatments with a change in behaviour – fully altering sun habits is crucial to prevent hyperpigmentation from getting worse’.

Why choose Elan Medical Skin Clinic?

Unlike many other beauty and aesthetics clinics, the treatments and solutions at Elan Medical Skin Clinic are based on proven medical techniques. At the helm is Sue Ibrahim, a highly regarded nurse consultant in dermatology, who uses the knowledge she has built up from more than 30 years of working in this field.

How do I book an appointment?

You can either call Elan Medical Skin Clinic on 01268 770660 between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday or you can complete an online booking request form and one of our reception team will contact you by phone or email, whichever you prefer. You will be asked to pay your initial consultation fee by credit or debit card on confirming your appointment.