'adult acne' Category Archives

London skin expert soothes your skin this summer

A woman touches her smooth skin - London skin expert, Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Essex, soothes your skin this summer

London skin expert, Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Essex, soothes your skin this summer

Skin rashes, itchy skin and general lumps and bumps seem all the more noticeable and irritating during the summer when our skin is bared to the world.

The team at Elan Medical Skin Clinics in Rayleigh, Essex and central London is led by Sue Ibrahim, a consultant nurse with more than 30 years’ dermatology experience. Sue knows skin, simple as that. She understands how certain health and skin problems can make you feel unhappy and self-conscious and what can be done to help alleviate your symptoms.

From acne, acne scarring, rosacea, melasma and psoriasis, to mole and cyst removal and treatments for dealing with excessive sweating, Sue uses the latest technology and up-to-date approaches to ensure the best results.

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Sugar and The Skin

The Science behind the sugar debate

Sugar has no essential nutrients and simply contributes kilojoules.  Dietary Guidelines from the NHS Choices website recommends we limit sugar from our diet as it adds unnecessary calories, and like refined starches, it increases dental decay. However, there is no evidence that a totally sugar-free diet is needed. The World Health Organization advises limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total energy to prevent dental caries, obesity, and chronic disease. NHS Choices recommends that added sugars should be limited to less than 5% of total energy intake as a strategy for preventing excess weight (which is a risk factor for heart disease).

Sugar is the enemy of the skin

There is no scientific support for avoiding fruits and vegetables because of their natural sugar content. These foods also provide dietary fibre (which is nature’s obstacle to over consumption) as well as minerals and vitamins. Research also shows that consumption of fruit and vegetables helps control weight.

Research shows that fructose is problematic only in excess, and the basic problem in most cases is simply the extra kilojoules from a high intake of fructose. Research also shows that anyone who exercises regularly and pre-menopausal women, will be unlikely to have problems with fructose.

Sugar does not fulfil any official definition of ‘addictive’, although once our taste buds become used to sweetness, some people will overindulge in sweet foods.

Sugar or high-glycemic foods quickly convert to sugar. This in turn raises insulin levels and puts unnatural demands on your body to deal with the food you just ate.  Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar, white bread and soda, cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to what our skin expert, Sue Ibrahim, states as “Inflammatory responses in the skin”. Inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles. Digested sugar permanently attaches to the collagen in your skin through a process known as glycation. 

Sugars – Acne, insulin resistance, pigmentation and facial hair growth

Aside from increasing the effects of aging, glycation can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea. Plus, the more sugar you eat, the more likely it is you’ll develop insulin resistance, which can manifest as excess hair growth (hirsutism) and dark patches on the face, neck and in body creases.

Should I eliminate sugar from my diet altogether?

The most extreme form of a sugar-free diet restricts all foods that contain added sugars as well as fruit and any vegetables that contain natural sugars such as peas, carrots and parsnips. The less extreme form of the diet permits fruit (but not juices) and vegetables and restricts all added sugars, honey and processed foods that contain sugars such as sugar-sweetened drinks, confectionery, sweet snacks, biscuits, cakes, pastries, ice cream and desserts, sweetened yoghurt, most breakfast cereals, sauces, soups and marinades.

Some sugar-free diets claim that sugar is addictive and must be totally eliminated to ‘cure’ the addiction. However, there is no scientific support for avoiding fruits and vegetables because of their natural sugar content. These foods also provide dietary fibre (which is nature’s obstacle to over consumption) as well as minerals and vitamins. Research also shows that consumption of fruit and vegetables helps control weight.

Research shows that fructose is problematic only in excess, and the basic problem in most cases is simply the extra kilojoules from a high intake of fructose. Research also shows that anyone who exercises regularly and pre-menopausal women, will be unlikely to have problems with fructose.

How to cut down on sugar

  • Avoid foods that do not contain any necessary nutrients – for example, soft drinks and confectionery, biscuits and pastries.
  • Limit cakes and sugary desserts.
  • Read the ingredient list on breakfast cereals. Best sugar-free choices include oats or a quality muesli (check the ingredient list rather than the total sugars as this will include naturally occurring sugars in dried fruit), or any wholegrain product with less than 3% total sugars.
  • Read the ingredient list on products such as marinades and sauces. If sugar occurs as one of the first three ingredients, look for a healthier choice or make your own ‘from scratch’ using wine, different flavoured vinegars (for example cider or balsamic) plus extra virgin olive oil, any herbs or spices or garlic or onion.
  • Choose natural yoghurt and add your own fruit.

Watch out

Artificial sweeteners will also spike your insulin levels, so it is best to avoid them.

Sensible eating also involves long-term commitment so it’s usually best to avoid going to extremes as this can lead to feelings of deprivation. For example, it makes more sense to ask for a small serving of birthday cake or to share a small dessert with a friend rather than avoid all treats and then break out and binge.

Sugar isn’t just bad for your waistline warns London skin expert

As if it wasn’t looking bad enough for sugar, our London skin expert Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics is warning clients about the effects it can have on our skin.

From acne to ageing, wrinkles to blemishes, sugar has a lot to answer for. Sugar and high GI (glycemic index) foods lead to a spike in insulin levels and this causes inflammation throughout our bodies. Sugar also binds to collagen making the skin stiff. The technical term for this is a process called glycation. It’s simple really: less sugar equals better skin – and the results can very often be seen in just a week.

Insulin spikes are linked to acne breakouts and can cause the skin to appear red and inflamed. This is because inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, resulting in sagging skin and wrinkles.

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London skin expert can help reduce the appearance of acne scars

Beautif woman touches her smooth facial skin. If you have acne scars, speak to Sue Ibrahim, nurse consultant in dermatology at Elan Medical Skin Clinic to find out how she can help.

If you have acne scars, speak to Sue Ibrahim, nurse consultant in dermatology at Elan Medical Skin Clinic to find out how she can help.

As if having acne wasn’t bad enough, the scarring left behind can cause as much upset as the acne itself. The medical micro-needling and fractional skin resurfacing treatments at Elan Medical Skin Clinic will significantly improve the appearance of acne scars, allowing you to feel more confident and happy with your complexion.

Acne can lead to scarring when the most severe types of spots – nodules and cysts – burst and damage the overlying skin. Scarring can also occur if you pick or squeeze your spots, so it is important to avoid doing this.

Treatments for acne scars

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Do I need to have a regular facial?

A beautician will often recommend that you have a facial once a month, but this may not be a good idea for everyone, says our London and Essex skin expert, Sue Ibrahim.

A beauty salon facial may be relaxing but the benefits to the skin are usually only temporary and an worsen skin conditions such as dermatitis, acne and rosacea. Beauty Salon facials generally only offer short term hydration of the skin which products that contain a lot of pseudo scientific mumbo jumbo that has no evidence behind it.

What is a dermatology grade facial?

Facials that have been developed by dermatologists, on the other hand, may provide longer term improvements to the texture and clarity of your skin. A dermatology grade facial will contain evidence based ingredients that can slow down the ageing process at the cellular level of the skin. They help regenerate new, healthy skin.

Dermatology grade facials may not be as relaxing as a facial at a beauty salon, but they can significantly improve your skin.

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Do you suffer from PCOS? Visit our London skin clinic for advice and treatments

Woman talks to skin experts at central London's Elan Medical Skin Clinic about PCOS

Woman talks to skin experts at central London’s Elan Medical Skin Clinic about PCOS

If you suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) you have our sympathy, says skin expert, Sue Ibrahim from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Rayleigh, Essex.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how our ovaries work. As well as causing problems when trying to get pregnant, the condition also leads to a number of other symptoms. Not all women with PCOS will have all of the symptoms, and each can vary from mild to severe.

Common symptoms of PCOS

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If you suffer from spots – read this article!

If you are a teenager going through puberty, a grown-up suffering from adult acne or a woman with the polycystic ovarian syndrome’s side effect of increased spots, you have our sympathy.

Active acne and the resulting scarring can have a lifelong effect on our self-confidence. It seems that everyone has some ‘helpful’ nugget of advice or comment to make and when you’re in the thick of a breakout, they just make you feel worse.

Elan’s nurse consultant in dermatology, Sue Ibrahim, is here to blast some of those myths and explain some science-based facts that might help people of all ages understand acne.

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