Can keto or low-carb diets cure acne?

Most people follow a low-carb or keto diet expecting to lose weight, achieve better blood sugar control, and/or lower their blood pressure. In most cases, these are exactly the type of results that occur.

However, some individuals may also experience an unexpected bonus: improvement in skin quality, including a decrease in the frequency and severity of acne.

Indeed, there’s emerging evidence that this way of eating may help control acne due to its effects on hormonal health.

How does acne develop?

Although nearly 90% of adolescents and teens have acne, it’s fairly common in adults as well. In fact, it’s estimated that in Western countries, around 50% of people in their 20s and 30s struggle with acne. On the other hand, it’s very rare in many cultures who follow traditional diets.

Acne develops as a result of complex interactions that take place within the skin. Sebaceous glands located in the skin’s outer layer are connected to hair follicles. These glands produce sebum, an oily substance that lubricates the hair and skin cells, which are constantly being shed and replaced.

acne

In the case of acne, this system is impaired. Elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) cause increased sebum production, leading to oily skin. In addition, skin cell production ramps up, and dead skin cells aren’t shed in the normal fashion. Instead, these cells combine with excess sebum, causing blocks or plugs. While this process is occurring, bacteria that feed on sebum also enter the picture.

Similar to the gut microbiome, skin maintains its own bacterial balance. One type of bacteria known as P. Acnes lives deep within the hair follicles and is normally present in the outer skin layer in small amounts. However, during acne, concentrations of P. Acnes increase dramatically, causing inflammation that leads to whiteheads, pustules and cysts.

The role of diet in acne

Up until the 1960s, based on early studies, diets high in sugar and refined carbs were believed to worsen acne. However, after experimental research failed to show a link between specific foods and acne, diet was no longer considered much of a contributor.

Today, the tide has turned yet again, in light of mounting research published within the past decade suggesting that carbohydrates may be the main dietary culprit in acne due to their negative effects on hormonal regulation.

Carbohydrates may be the main dietary culprit in acne due to their negative effects on hormonal regulation.

For instance, a 2007 controlled study in 43 young acne-prone men by Smith, et al, found that a low-glycemic-load diet led to a greater reduction in acne lesions than a higher-glycemic-load diet. What’s more, the low-glycemic-load group experienced a decrease in androgen and insulin levels, improvement in insulin sensitivity, and weight loss. By contrast, the other group had increases in weight, insulin levels, and insulin resistance.

It’s important to point out that this wasn’t really a low-carb diet; the low-glycemic-load carbs accounted for about 44% of the total dietary intake. Would there have been an even greater improvement with a low-carb or keto diet providing less than 15% of energy from carbs?

Low-carb and ketogenic diets for acne

Many people have reported that their skin has become much clearer as a result of following a low-carb or keto diet.

Although controlled research on carb restriction for acne has yet to be done, many people have reported that their skin has become much clearer as a result of following a low-carb or keto diet.

Moreover, there are logical reasons why minimizing carb intake would be helpful for acne sufferers.

A 2012 article by Italian researchers discusses the potential benefits of ketogenic diets for acne, including the following:

Reduction in insulin levels: Elevated insulin levels stimulate increased production of skin cells, sebum, and androgens – setting the stage for acne eruptions. Ketogenic diets decrease insulin levels, often dramatically.

Anti-inflammatory effects: Inflammation drives acne progression. Very-low-carb and ketogenic diets have been shown to reduce inflammation.

Decrease in IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1): Ketogenic diets decrease levels of IGF-1. Like insulin, IGF-1 increases sebum production and has been found to play a large role in acne.

In a compelling 2013 review on therapeutic uses of ketogenic diets for various conditions, Paoli, et al, state that although the emerging evidence for the use of keto diets in acne is promising, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are needed to confirm these benefits.

Keto or low carb: Which is best for acne?

As there aren’t yet any studies on stricter low-carb or keto diets for acne at this time, it’s difficult to determine the degree of carb restriction needed to achieve the best results. Similar to losing weight or reducing blood sugar, the necessary carb reduction for potential acne control likely varies from person to person. It’s possible that stricter low-carb diets are more effective.

Tips for maximizing the benefits of a keto or low-carb diet for acne

Below are some additional dietary tweaks that may or may not be useful. They are based on preliminary evidence, small studies that need to be repeated to know for sure whether the suggested effects are real.

Consume fatty fish often: Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are anti-inflammatory and have been credited with possibly improving acne. The best sources include salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and anchovies.

Eat low-carb vegetables: Leafy green and cruciferous vegetables may help promote hormonal regulation and improve skin health. Notable dermatology researcher Bodo Melnik recommends a Paleo diet rich in vegetables for acne management.

Avoid or limit dairy: Dairy has been shown to increase levels of insulin and IGF-1. Although skim milk seems to have the the strongest link to acne, cheese has also been implicated as a potential issue.

Drink green tea: Green tea is the best source of the antioxidant EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate). A 2016 study found that green tea extract appeared to significantly reduce acne lesions in adult women with moderate to severe acne.

Avoid or limit dark chocolate: Although earlier studies showed no difference in acne response when chocolate was compared to other sweets, a 2016 study found that even virtually sugar-free 99% dark chocolate might significantly worsen breakouts in acne-prone men. For this reason you may want to limit even dark chocolate intake, just to be safe.

Focus on fresh low-carb foods: Even if you don’t eat sugary and starchy foods, you may still be consuming ingredients that can cause skin issues. Bologna and other processed meats often contain sugar, corn syrup, fillers or other additives that raise insulin levels and potentially provoke inflammation. Stick to fresh food whenever possible, and read labels on processed meats and other packaged foods.

Give the diet some time: Paradoxically, some people report a worsening of acne shortly after starting a keto or low-carb diet. However, this appears to be short-lived and may be part of the keto-adapatation process. Overall, breakouts seem to improve with carb restriction long term in the vast majority of people.

Summary

While the evidence is still somewhat preliminary, there are many reasons to believe that low-carb and keto diets can improve acne. Feel free to read several stories below from people who have tried it, and to use our free guides linked below to get started.

By choosing nutrient-dense low-carb whole foods that minimize insulin levels and reduce inflammation, you may be giving yourself the best shot at clearer, healthier skin.

Trying a low-carb diet is safe, and besides the cost of buying real food, it’s also free. So why not try it out for a few weeks, and see what happens to your skin?

Have you already tried a low-carb or keto diet for acne? Feel free to leave a comment below, and share your experiences.

Acne Mechanica – What is it?

Have you ever noticed breakouts on your forehead after wearing a headband? Or how your backside becomes covered in pimples after a long day of hiking with a backpack?

Although you might blame these breakouts on sweat and bacteria, it’s more complicated than that. In both instances, your breakouts are likely caused by acne mechanica.

What is acne mechanica and how can you prevent it? Here are three of the things you ought to know:

  1. Acne mechanica is a form of acne that is caused by heat, pressure and friction on the skin.
  2. Men who wear sports equipment, tight clothing and backpacks are prone to acne mechanica.
  3. Acne mechanica can be treated and prevented with a few simple changes to your routine.

Acne Mechanica Explained

While we still don’t know the exact cause of acne, we do know that it occurs when excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells clog the hair follicle. Acne mechanica refers specifically to acne that is caused by excess heat, pressure and rubbing of the skin.

Acne mechanica can be caused by backpacks, chin straps from helmets, shoulder pads and tight-fitting clothing. These items can rub repeatedly against the skin, creating friction and heat.

This friction and heat open up your pores, making them more likely to become clogged with bacteria and dead skin cells. Blocked hair follicles can then become inflamed, resulting in red, angry pimples at the site of the friction.

Who Is Affected by Acne Mechanica?

Acne mechanica is more likely to affect acne-prone individuals, athletes and soldiers. Men may be affected by acne mechanica more than women, given our biological differences.

For example, men produce more oil and have bigger pores than women do, which makes men prone to clogged pores and breakouts caused by friction and heat.

Men also produce more sweat per gland (see claim: “We conclude that physical training enhances…”) than women do. While sweat does not directly cause acne, it can lead to an increased buildup of bacteria and result in blocked pores.

Teenagers and young adults who suffer from hormonal acne are also likely to experience acne mechanica. This is often due to their higher sebum production caused by hormone fluctuations, as well as wearing backpacks that cause friction and heat.

Teenagers and young adults who suffer from hormonal acne are also likely to experience acne mechanica. This is often due to their higher sebum production caused by hormone fluctuations, as well as wearing backpacks that cause friction and heat.

How to Treat Acne Mechanica

Like any form of acne, there is no cure for acne mechanica. However, there are ways to reduce your chances of breakouts caused by heat and friction.

  • Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing. As much as you want to show off your muscles with a tight-fitting shirt, this may be causing you to break out in acne. Wear clothing that gives your skin room to breathe instead.
  • Use Products with Salicylic Acid. This powerful ingredient is an acne-fighting machine. Not only is Salicylic Acid gentle on the skin, it’s also an excellent chemical exfoliant which can penetrate deep into the pores of a man’s skin to eliminate bacteria-causing acne. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we recommend our DermaActive Cleanser and DermaBalance Lotion as they contain a combination of ingredients, including Salicylic Acid, that are clinically proven to help with acne.
  • Choose breathable fabrics. The combination of sweat and certain fabrics can be a nightmare for your skin. Avoid fabrics such as polyester and rayon (which can trap heat and sweat in your skin) and choose breathable fabrics such as cotton instead.

Alright, what if you’ve followed the tips above and you still get acne mechanica? No fear, gentlemen—there are other ways to help.

A powerful acne treatment system for men can step up your skincare game and eliminate stubborn blemishes. Because men have different skin than women do, they need an acne treatment system formulated specifically for their skin.

Elan Medical DermaActives use cutting-edge ingredients such as Salicylic Acid and Azelaic Acid to penetrate and heal the skin. We’ve also made our acne system for men super simple because we know that guys want skin care to be easy.

Keep Acne Mechanica at Bay with a Regular Skin Care Regimen

Not wearing backpacks and helmets simply isn’t a practical solution to treating acne mechanica. If you’re struggling with breakouts caused by heat, pressure and friction, the best treatment is preventing acne in the first place.

A daily skin care regime can help reduce acne mechanica and even eliminate it entirely. By keeping your skin clean and moisturized daily, you’re well on your way to achieving amazing-looking skin.

Sometimes over the counter products are simply just not enough and you need to see a dermatologist. Elan Medical Skin Clinic is a registered medical skin clinic.

I have acne! Is it okay to wear makeup?

Yes, you can wear makeup, but you’ll want to choose it carefully. Some cosmetics can cause acne. When this happens, you develop a type of acne called acne cosmetica. Even women who would not otherwise have acne can develop acne cosmetica from wearing makeup.

How to figure out if makeup could be causing your acne

If you have acne cosmetica, you’ll likely have many tiny bumps on your face. These bumps usually appear on the cheeks, chin, or forehead. Many women develop whiteheads that rise above their skin slightly. You may also notice some pimples.

If you have tiny breakouts around your lips, your lipstick or lip balm could be the culprit.

Acne cosmetica can take time to appear. It can take anywhere from a few days to 6 months for blemishes to appear.

This delay can make it difficult to see a connection between acne and the makeup causing it.  As you see new blemishes, you may treat the acne and then cover it with acne-causing makeup. Continuing to use the makeup leads to a never-ending cycle of breakouts.

This never-ending cycle can feel frustrating. Many women start to believe that nothing will clear their acne. 

How to clear acne cosmetica

Even when makeup causes your acne, you can still wear makeup and see clearer skin. You’ll have to use different makeup though.

acne cosmetica
Need to use acne medication? Want to wear makeup? Apply the acne medication first.

Here’s what dermatologists recommend to see clearer skin:

  1. Choose your makeup carefully. You’ll want to immediately stop using all of the makeup that’s causing your breakouts. Of course, it can be hard to tell what’s causing your acne.
  2. Oil-free
  3. Won’t clog pores
  4. Non-comedogenic
  5. Wash your face twice a day with a mild cleanser — and after you finish any activity that makes you sweat.Dermatologists recommend that you wash your face when you wake up and before you go to bed.

    Before using your cleanser, look for the words “oil-free”, “won’t clog pores,” or “non-comedogenic” on the packaging. If you don’t see any of these terms, look for a cleanser that contains one of these descriptions. 
  6. Use your fingertips to gently wash and rinse your face. You want to gently apply your cleanser with your fingertips and gently rinse it off with lukewarm water. Don’t scrub — even to remove makeup. 

    If you find that you still have makeup on your skin after washing your face, gently remove it with an oil-free makeup remover.

    After using a makeup remover, rinse it off.
  7. Apply makeup gently. Your touch should be feather light. You want to avoid irritating your skin. Makeup brushes can help you apply everything gently.
  8. Clean your makeup brushes every week and make sure you’re the only one who uses them. While acne isn’t contagious, acne-causing bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil from other people’s skin can stick to your makeup, makeup brushes, and applicators. When you use shared makeup and tools, those acne-causing culprits can spread to your skin, leading to new breakouts.

    When you share makeup, brushes, or applicators, you can also get contagious diseases, such as pink eye or cold sores.
  9. Treat your acne. Acne cosmetica will often clear when you stop using the makeup and hair and skin care products that clog your pores.

    If anything else is causing your acne, however, you’ll still see acne. That’s why dermatologists recommend that you treat your acne with products that contain one or more of the following ingredients:
  • Azelaic Acid (fights acne-causing bacteria and reduces pigmentation from acne spots)
  • Salicylic acid (helps unclog pores)
  • Bio-sulphur (helps unclog pores)
Acne cosmetica
Our non-prescription products contain Azelaic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Bio Sulphur

You can buy these acne treatments without a prescription from our website: DermaActive Acne Programme

It can take 4 to 8 weeks to see some improvement.

When to seek a dermatologist’s help

Acne cosmetica tends to clear once you stop using what’s causing it. Finding the cause, however, can be difficult. So many products can lead to acne cosmetica, including foundation, blush, and concealer. Some hair and skin care products can also cause it.

To complicate matters, more than acne cosmetica could be causing your acne.

A dermatologist can help you sort it out, so you can see clearer skin.

Why visit Elan Medical Skin Clinic?

With many years’ experience in skin conditions, Sue Ibrahim, our nurse consultant in dermatology, understands the emotional distress caused by acne and acne scars. Better still, as a skin expert, she has a range of treatments at her fingertips that will help.

Fantastic advances in modern skin treatments mean that no-one has to feel self conscious about acne or the resulting scars. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex we have a wide variety of treatment options to help control acne and prevent scarring. Evidence suggests that a combination of treatments can produce a better outcome and help keep acne under control. 

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

You may wish to read some of our recent blogs on Roaccutane and Sprinonoctone for the treatment of acne.

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.

10 skin care habits that can worsen acne

While it’s important to wash your face, washing too many times a day can irritate your skin, causing new breakouts.

Are you faithfully treating your acne but still seeing new breakouts? Your skin care routine could be to blame. Here you’ll find 10 skin care habits that can worsen acne and dermatologists’ tips to help you change those habits.

  1. Try a new acne treatment every week or so. This approach can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.
  2. What to do instead: Give an acne treatment time to work. You want to use a product for 6 to 8 weeks. It takes that long to see some improvement. If you don’t see any improvement by then, you can try another product. Complete clearing generally takes 3 to 4 months.
  3. Apply acne medication only to your blemishes. It makes sense to treat what you see, but this approach fails to prevent new breakouts.
  4. What to do instead: To prevent new blemishes, spread a thin layer of the acne medication evenly over your acne-prone skin. For example, if you tend to breakout on your forehead, nose, and chin, you’d want to apply the acne treatment evenly on all of these areas of your face.
  5. Use makeup, skin care products, and hair care products that can cause acne. Some makeup along with many skin and hair care products contain oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts. If you continue to use them, you may continue to see blemishes.
  6. What to do instead: Use only makeup, sunscreen, skin and hair care products that are labeled “non-comedogenic” or “won’t clog pores.” These products don’t cause breakouts in most people. Check out the Elan Medical DermaActive skin care range for acne
  7. Share makeup, makeup brushes, or makeup applicators. Even if you use only non-comedogenic products, sharing makeup can lead to blemishes.
  8. Acne isn’t contagious, but when you share makeup, makeup brushes, or applicators, the acne-causing bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells on other people’s skin can wind up in your makeup. When you use that makeup, you can transfer their bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells to your skin. These can clog your pores, leading to breakouts.
  9. What to do instead: Make sure you’re the only person who uses your makeup, makeup brushes, and makeup applicators.
  10. Sleep in your makeup. Even non-comedogenic makeup can cause acne if you sleep in it. 
  11. What to do instead: Remove your makeup before you go to bed. No exceptions. If you’re too tired to wash your face, use a makeup remover towelette. Just make sure it’s a non-comedogenic towelette.
  12. Wash your face throughout the day. Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts.
  13. What to do instead: Wash your face twice a day — when you wake up and before you go to bed. You’ll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat.
  14. Dry out your skin. Skin with acne is oily, so it can be tempting to apply astringent and acne treatments until your face feels dry. Don’t. Dry skin is irritated skin. Anytime you irritate your skin, you risk getting more acne.
  15. What to do instead: Use acne treatments as directed. If your skin feels dry, apply a moisturizer made for acne-prone skin. You’ll want to apply the moisturizer twice a day, after washing your face.
  16. You also want to avoid using astringents, rubbing alcohol, and anything else that can dry out your skin.
  17. Scrub your skin clean. To get rid of acne, you may be tempted to scrub your skin clean. Don’t. Scrubbing can irritate your skin, causing acne to flare.
  18. What to do instead: Be gentle when washing your face and other skin with acne. You want to use a mild, non-comedogenic cleanser. Apply the cleanser lightly with your fingertips, using a circular motion. Gently rinse it off with warm water, using only your fingers. Then pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
  19. Rub sweat from your skin during a workout. Using a towel to roughly rub away sweat can irritate your skin, which can cause breakouts.
  20. What to do instead: When working out, use a clean towel to gently pat sweat from your skin.
  21. Pop or squeeze breakouts. When you pop or squeeze acne, you’re likely to push some of what’s inside (e.g., pus, dead skin cells, or bacteria) deeper into your skin. When this happens, you increase inflammation. This can lead to more-noticeable acne and sometimes scarring and pain.
  22. What to do instead: Resist the temptation to pop or squeeze acne. You want to treat your acne with acne medication. If you have deep or painful acne, seeing a dermatologist is necessary to help clear your acne.

When to see a dermatologist

Many people can control their acne by following these skin care tips and using acne treatment that they can buy without a prescription. If you continue to see acne after giving these tips a chance to work, a dermatologist can help. Some people need prescription-strength acne treatment.

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex we are a registered medical clinic. Our Dermatology Nurse Consultant is able to prescribe prescription only medication for the treatment of ace.

With the right help, virtually everyone who has acne can see clearer skin.

Allergy Tests for Eczema

Parents often ask us if their child with eczema is allergic to something in the belief that removing the allergic “cause” would clear the eczema.

Allergy Tests for Eczema
Allergy Testing for children with eczema may not be necessary

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. It is very rare for childhood eczema to clear after removing or reducing a possible allergen. However, allergies are more common in children with atopic eczema than in other children, so it is helpful for you to think about whether your child might be reacting to something.

Allergies in children with eczema may be:

  • Foods – most commonly egg and milk in the first year of life or peanuts in older children
  • Things in the air (airborne allergens) eg. grass, animal hair
  • Things in contact with the skin (contact allergens) eg plasters, preservatives found in some creams .

Things that make eczema worse (“flare”) are called “triggers”. Eczema often flares in response to several triggers happening at the same time rather than one at a time.

Triggers may be allergic in nature, but more often than not, they are non-allergic and include irritants, soaps, stress, heat, tiredness, sweating, changes in weather and having a cough or cold. Therefore it is only sometimes that allergy tests help to get better control of your child’s eczema.

In the case of eczema affecting the hands, the most common reason for worsening eczema are the irritant effects from contact with water, soap, sand, play materials, saliva, foods and cold wind. These effects are not allergic ones.

The best way to find out if there is something which causes your child’s eczema is to take notice of the reactions your child has. For example, if your child gets itchy patches and swellings on their skin after stroking a cat they do not see often, along with sneezing and a runny nose, then these are fairly reliable signs that your child is allergic to that particular cat.

Food allergies are sometimes harder to spot. If your child gets immediate ‘hives’ or a nettle rash on the skin or tingling in the mouth when eating a particular food, it is very likely they are allergic to that food. Blood or skin prick tests can be done to confirm this. (See details of these tests below.)

Remember that atopic eczema is a condition that comes and goes quite quickly and that the best time to look for allergies is when your child’s eczema is in a good and stable state.

Allergy Blood Tests

This blood test tells us if your child has antibodies in the blood which could react to common substances that spark off allergies. Blood tests are helpful to confirm a suspicion of an immediate food or airborne allergy. They can be helpful in babies less than 1 year old to look for allergy to milk and egg. Blood tests are helpful if they are negative to the suspected food as a negative test is pretty good at ruling out allergy. The blood test is also helpful if it is strongly positive when there is a history of possible allergy. More often than not, especially in older children, the tests come back as low positive which does not mean very much as lots of people without eczema are the same. In other words, what happens in the blood may have little to do with what happens in the skin. Sometimes, especially if your child also has asthma or hay fever, what happens in the blood is more related to those conditions.

Just to summarise then: a strong positive test can be helpful to confirm a suspected allergen. A negative blood test is sometimes helpful in telling us that your child is not allergic to something. A low positive or multiple low positive tests don’t help us a lot. For more information follow this link: https://www.allergyuk.org/diagnosis–testing-of-allergy/blood-tests

Allergy Skin Prick Tests

These are tests that involve pricking a tiny amount of liquid into your child’s forearm to see which ones react. Test liquids are made up out of things that may cause allergies. Drops of these liquids in very dilute form are put on to the arm and the skin is pricked with a tiny needle. If your child is allergic to a particular substance, then they will get a red swelling on their skin after a few minutes. To see a video of this process follow this link: http://www.allergyuk.org/diagnosis–testing-of-allergy/skin-testing

Like the blood test, skin prick tests are only really helpful if they are strongly positive or negative. Skin prick tests cannot be done on skin that is affected by eczema at that time. Anti-histamines must be stopped several days before skin prick tests.

Allergy Patch Tests

These are used to look for another kind of eczema called allergic contact eczema. Sticky patches containing various substances are placed on your child’s back. Contact eczema is very uncommon in babies with atopic eczema, but can occasionally occur in older children. It is much more common in adults. For example, someone may have hand eczema due to wearing rubber gloves as they have an allergy to rubber. The rubber substance will show up as a reaction on their back 2-4 days after placing the patches on. Unlike the positive tests for food and airborne allergens, identifying an allergic contact factor such as rubber, glue, perfume or nickel in jewellery offers a good chance of clearing the problem if that factor is avoided.

Allergy tests on the High Street

We would not recommend you having high street or internet allergy tests because there is no evidence of their value in the management of atopic eczema.

Final thoughts

If you have any questions about these tests or the information you have
read here, please talk to us at Elan Medical Skin Clinic.

Just remember that allergy tests are only part of the story when assessing your child for possible allergies.

Tattoo Removal

Unwanted tattoos can be removed gradually over a series of sessions using a laser.

The energy from the laser breaks down the tattoo ink into tiny fragments, which are eventually absorbed into the bloodstream and safely passed out of the body.

This process is rarely carried out on the NHS.

Before you go ahead…

If you’re thinking of having a tattoo removed, you should be prepared for the potential discomfort and the limitations. 

Cost:  At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex we charge £150 a session to remove a small tattoo and up to £800 for a larger one using Plasma Soft Surgery under a local anaesthetic cream.

*Limitations: *

  • It can be a frustratingly slow process: 10 or more sessions may be needed to remove the tattoo.
  • Many tattoos are not entirely removed – it’s quite common to have some fragments left in the skin.
  • Some colours don’t fade as well as others.

Tattoo removal is not recommended for people with dark skin, a suntan or fake tan. It’s not suitable if you’re in the early stages of pregnancy, although there are no known risks for women who are breastfeeding.

Safety:  At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we are a registered medical clinic. We are registered with The Care Quality Commission.

What it involves

If you have hair on the area of skin to be treated, you’d need to shave before the appointment.

The practitioner would then press a hand-held device to your skin and trigger a laser. Some people say this feels like an elastic band snapping at your skin.

The session would take about 10-30 minutes, depending on the size of the tattoo.

The tattoo should become progressively lighter with each treatment, but it’s a long, slow process. Normally treatments are carried out every 6-12 weeks

Aloe vera gel would be applied afterwards, and you may leave with a bandage or patch.

Afterwards

The skin may be red with a raised rash for a short while afterwards. Holding an ice pack to the skin may help (try a pack of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel).

Your skin would also be more sensitive to the sun, so you’d need to avoid sun exposure and tanning beds for at least a week afterwards, and use sunscreen.

As treatment sessions progress, the skin may bleed slightly before scabbing over for about a week.

It may help to regularly apply aloe vera gel, and apply Vaseline if there is any blistering or scabbing.

You should also avoid:

  • soap or perfumed products on the area for the first 48 hours
  • strenuous activities for a couple of days
  • swimming and saunas until the scab has dropped off (as these may slow the healing process)

Risks

Possible risks are:

  • some colours not completely fading – yellow, green and purple ink requires more energy (more sessions) to fade than black, blue and red
  • a small chance your skin may become temporarily darker or palerthan the surrounding skin
  • a slight chance you’re left with a permanent scar (3 in 100 patients develop a scar)

Clinical expertise

Our clinical director, Sue Ibrahim has worked in cosmetic dermatology for almost 20 years and her experience in minor skin surgery and laser treatments is second to none. Sue is a firm believer in a combined, holistic approach. In order to get the most out of any treatment we aim to get your skin in tiptop condition first. Your treatment is then the icing on the cake and your recovery time is quicker.

What happens next?

You will require a thorough cosmetic consultation to book your consultation.

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

How do I request a consultation?

You can either give Elan Medical Skin Clinic a call on 01268 770660 between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Saturday.Cosmetic consultation


Skin Cyst Removal

A skin cyst is a fluid-filled lump just underneath the skin. It’s common and harmless, and may disappear without treatment.

It can be difficult to tell whether a lump is a cyst or something else that might need treatment. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex, we can make sure that your lump is properly diagnosed.

Cysts are sometimes confused with boils or skin abscesses. Boils and abscesses are painful collections of pus that indicate an infection. A cyst may go on to become a boil or abscess

What a cyst looks like

A skin cyst is a round, dome-shaped lump. It’s yellow or white, often with a small dark plug through which you might be able to squeeze out pus.

Skin Cysts can be removed quickly and painlessly at Elan Medical Skin Clinic

Cysts can range in size from smaller than a pea to a few centimetres across. They grow slowly.

Skin cysts don’t usually hurt, but can become tender, sore and red if they become infected. Foul-smelling pus coming out of the cyst is another sign of infection.

Types of skin cyst

Epidermoid cysts (one of the main types) are commonly found on the face, neck, chest, shoulders or skin around the genitals.

They affect young and middle-aged adults, and are particularly common in people with acne. They don’t usually run in families.

Cysts that form around hair follicles are known as pilar cysts. They’re often found on the scalp.

Pilar cysts typically affect middle-aged adults, particularly women. Unlike epidermoid cysts, they run in families.

A cyst that forms on the eyelid is called a chalazion or meibomian cyst.

Why do cysts form?

Some of the cells in the top layer of skin produce keratin, a protein that gives skin its strength and flexibility. Normally, these cells move up to the surface of the skin as they start to die, so they can be shed.

However, the cells sometimes move deeper into your skin and multiply, forming a sac. They secrete keratin into the middle of the sac, which forms a thick, yellow paste. This can ooze out of the cyst if it’s burst.

Anyone can develop a skin cyst, but you’re more likely to have one if you’ve been through puberty, you have a history of acne, aor you’ve injured the skin – for example, if you’ve damaged a hair follicle.

Skin cysts aren’t contagious.

Treating skin cysts

Cysts are usually harmless. Small cysts that aren’t causing any problems can be left alone.

Holding a warm flannel against the skin will encourage the cyst to heal and reduce any inflammation.

Don’t be tempted to burst the cyst. If it’s infected, you risk spreading the infection, and if the sac is left underneath the skin, it can grow back.

You may need a course of antibiotics if the cyst is infected.

If a cyst is causing problems, such as catching on your clothes, or if it looks unsightly, it can be removed. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we will use a local anaesthetic to numb your skin, before making a tiny cut and squeezing the cyst out.

This procedure will leave a scar. The cyst may also grow back, particularly if it was removed from the scalp or scrotum.

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 book your Mole or Cyst removal appointment in Essex by going to our online booking 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.

New Year, New Skin, New You

On Thursday 10th January 2019, between 5pm and 7pm, we are holding a New Year, New Skin, New You Event.

Discover the new and exciting treatments on offer at Elan Medical Skin Clinic. Come and meet Sue Ibrahim for an informal chat about your skin concerns.

We are specialists in medical skin conditions and cosmetic dermatology.

Exclusive offers on treatments and treatment packages booked on the night.

If you are interested in attending this event, please give our reception team a call. The Event is completely free of charge and you will not be pressured into pursuing any treatment.

Do you fancy being a model on the night? You will need to attend a Consultation prior to being considered as a model. You must also be over the age of eighteen.

Call 01268 770660 or complete an enquiry form online to register your interest.

Christmas Opening Hours

Have a wonderful Christmas
Season’s greetings! From all of us at Elan Medical Skin Clinic we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. 2018 has been an exciting and vibrant year for us, and we’re forever grateful for your continued business and eagerness to continue working with you to achieve amazing skin. We hope that 2019 is as electric and successful as 2018 has been, and we can’t wait to see you on the other side.

All I want for Christmas is great skin

Christmas Closure Dates
We all plan on getting merry, jolly, and all that jazz with our nearest and dearest over Christmas, as we’re sure you will be too, so our clinic will be closing from Saturday 22 December 2018 at 4pm and reopening on Friday 28th of December 2018.

Our clinic will also be closed from Monday 31st December to Thursday 3rd January 2019.

Thank you for choosing Elan Medical Skin Clinic for all of your skin needs, and we hope you’re feeling merry and bright!

Skin Specialist in Essex

What is a Skin Specialist?

Skin specialists in Essex are either Consultant Dermatologists or Nurse Consultsnts in Dermatology and it takes many years of studying medicine and many more years experience in diagnosing and treating medical skin conditions for someone to call themselves a skin specialist.

Who is Sue Ibrahim?

Sue Ibrahim started life as registered nurse working within the NHS. Her interest in Dermatology began when she saw how much the psychological effects of skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis had on lives of the her patients. This was over thirty years ago.

Elan Medical Skin Clinic’s skin expert Sue Ibrahim

Elan Medical Skin Clinic’s skin expert Sue Ibrahim.

Over the past thirty years, Sue Ibrahim attended many courses aimed at nurses working within the field of dermatology. She has now reached the level of Dermtology Nurse Consultant, being able to prescribe and treat many conditions involving the skin, the hair and the nails.

As a Nurse Consultant in Dermatology, Sue Ibrahim is also one of highest trained nurses in Dermoscopy (a medical device that acts as an aid in the diagnosis of skin lesions, particularly skin cancers). She is trained in carrying out skin biopsies and she also performs minor skin surgery under a local anaesthetic.

Sue Ibrahim often works alongside GPs, advising them on treatment plans for their patiens. She also works alongside Consultant Dermatologists to provide treatments that are only normally prescribed under specialist supervision.

Highly respected by her peers in dermatology and in aesthetic medicine, Sue has won many awards for her contribution to the speciality of Dermatology Nursing.

Even with thirty years experience, Sue Ibrahim continues to attend at least 10 study days a year. Every six months she attends prescribing update days, aimed at keeping her up to date with the new medication that are being lisenced to treat skin conditions and those that are still under clinicsl trials. She also attrnds dermoscopy and minor surgery update days, which help to improve her skills in analysing skin lesions and performing skin surgery.

Appointments with a Skin Specialist

Unless you have a life-threatening skin condition, it can be extremely difficult to see a Skin Specialist on the NHS, particularly in you live in Essex or Kent. Unless you have private medical insurance, going to see a consultant dermatologist privately can cost between £200-£400 in London and Essex. However, at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, a 45 minute dermatology consultation with Sue Ibrahim, our skin specialist, costs les than £100.

If you have an existing medical skin condition, your dermatology consultation 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. A treatment plan will be discussed and if agreed, you will be provided with a prescription.

Elan Medical Skin Skin Clinic is registered with The Care Quality Commission.