'DermaActives Essex' Category Archives

Skin changes during pregnancy

Pregnancy is normally a time when you are radiating with excitement, yes? But when your pregnancy complexion doesn’t always reflect that inner joy it can dampen your spirits.

Worry not, for most you will find that these skin issues resolve themselves following the birth of your baby.  Here are some of the most common skin problems women encounter during pregnancy—and what you can do about them.


Pregnancy should be a time of excitement

Skin Sensitivity

Go easier on your skin now that you’re pregnant. You might get red more easily if you use a facial scrub, your normal facial might verge on painful, and the perfumed lotion you wear might irritate your skin (and make you nauseated, but that’s a different story). That’s why many mums-to-be switch to unscented products and start choosing products that do not contain harsh chemicals, preservatives and fragrances. “You certainly don’t want anything causing micro-tears on your skin,” says Sue Ibrahim, our dermatology nurse consultant.  “The more cuts and wounds on your skin, the easier it is for chemicals to be absorbed into your bloodstream. Ingredients to stay away from in soaps and body washes include sodium laureth sulphate, parabens and fragrance.” These ingredients aren’t just potential irritants—some say they could pose health risks to baby. We say believe it, because (not surprisingly) a lot of products aren’t tested directly on pregnant women. If you are using prescription topicals on your face you need to tell your doctor that you are pregnant as most prescription creams are not licensed for use during pregnancy either. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic we advise our patients to use our Elan Medical DermaCalm range during pregnancy, because they are free from fragrances and preservatives. They also contain mild anti-inflammatory ingredients that can soothe irritated skin.

Acne breakouts during pregnancy

During pregnancy your hormones are all over the place, and that might mean pimples like you had when you were a teenager. The cruel joke, of course, is that many of the treatments that are prescribed for acne cannot be used during pregnancy. Prescription medications like Tetracyclines, Isotretinoin (Roacutane(R)) and the anti-androgen hormone therapies are definite no-nos. And the jury’s out on over-the-counter creams, since they haven’t been tested specifically on pregnant women (yup, you find that a lot with products). Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid can be absorbed into the bloodstream, so they’re not worth the risk either. “You can safely use lactic acid and biosulfur to treat acne,” Sue Ibrahim says. Don’t touch, pick or squeeze pimples— just wash with a mild cleanser twice a day. “A lot of women find Acne Phototherapy beneficial during pregnancy and it is perfectly safe for both you and the baby.

Sun Sensitivity

Sorry, mums-to-be, but “pregnancy glow” does not refer to a bronzed, sun-kissed complexion. You should actually try to stay out of the sun as much as you can while you’re pregnant. That’s because your surging hormones make you susceptible to dark patches on your skin—known as melasma, or the ‘mask of pregnancy’, which is triggered by sun exposure. So pull out the big floppy hat, find a beach umbrella and be diligent about wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 every day. If you are unlucky and do get Melasma during pregnancy it may resolve on its own following the birth of your baby, if not then you will need the help of a dermatologist I’m afraid.

Stretch marks

Now you’ve got another big skin concern: stretch marks. Anytime someone’s body grows quickly, they’re at risk for stretch marks, so the fact that baby is growing exponentially in there puts you right in the high-risk zone. Of course, not every mum-to-be gets stretch marks. “For most people, whether or not they get stretch marks has to do with genetic predisposition,” says Sue Ibrahim. But you can do your best to head them off by gently exfoliating and thoroughly moisturising your belly, boobs, stomach, hips and thighs as much as you can. As for what moisturizer to use, it’s hard to make a recommendation. “A lot of products make claims,” Sue Ibrahim says. “Some may help but aren’t really proven to prevent stretch marks.” If you are left with troublesome stretch marks following the birth of you baby, it is worth looking into the skin tightening treatments we offer at Elan Medical Skin Clinic.

Skin rashes during pregnancy

If you’ve got red, itchy skin, it’s important not to ignore it. Itchy feet and hands could be a sign of cholestasis of pregnancy, a scary complication that can cause liver problems for baby. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to make sure that’s not causing your rash. Another common pregnancy rash is PUPPP (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy), which often starts in the abdomen and spreads from there. PUPPP is actually harmless to baby, but it will be completely aggravating for you. Book in for a Dermatology Consultation if you are concerned.

Ageing Skin, Turning Back The Clock

Ageing skin is one of the most common concerns that we see at Elan Medical Skin Clinic. If all those expensive serums and cosmetic creams did what they claim to do then why do the women that use these products still complain that their skin is dry, dull, blotchy and wrinkled?

Let’s understand what causes ageing skin

Many things cause our skin to age. Some things we cannot do anything about; others we can influence. One thing that we cannot change is the natural ageing process. It plays a key role. With time, we all get visible lines on our face. It is natural for our face to lose some of its youthful fullness. We notice our skin becoming thinner and drier. Our genes largely control when these changes occur. The medical term for this type of ageing is “intrinsic ageing.”

Reverse the signs of ageing

Let’s look good for our age

We can influence another type of ageing that affects our skin. Our environment and lifestyle choices can cause our skin to age prematurely. The medical term for this type of ageing is “extrinsic ageing.”

  • The sun – UVA and UVB rays are present 365 days per year. USA rays can penetrate through four inches of glass. So think about this when you are sitting next to a window in the office or driving in your car.
  • Smoking –  I know, we are all told how smoking is bad for your health but smoking greatly speeds up how quickly skin ages. It causes wrinkles and a dull, sallow complexion. Why, because the toxins in cigarette smoke replace the oxygen content of your blood.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol is rough on the skin. It dehydrates the skin, and in time, damages the skin. This can make us look older. So drink alcohol in moderation and for every alcoholic drink, drink two glasses of water. This will help to re-hydrate you.
  • Unhealthy diet – Findings from a few studies suggest that eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help prevent damage that leads to premature skin ageing. Findings from research studies also suggest that a diet containing lots of sugar or other refined carbohydrates can accelerate ageing.
  • Lack of exercise – Findings from a few studies suggest that moderate exercise can improve circulation and boost the immune system. This, in turn, may give the skin a more-youthful appearance.
  • Over Moisturising – Believe it or not, over moisturising the skin will send your skin cells to sleep. When your skin is slightly dry, your skin cells react by producing more collagen. If you over moisturise the skin, you will be inhibiting your own collagen production. Use a sunscreen in the morning instead! Mind you, it needs to be a UVB and UVA Sunscreen of at least factor 30 for it to really protect your skin.
  • Skin Scrubs –  Scrubbing your skin clean can irritate your skin. Irritating your skin accelerates skin ageing process. Gentle washing helps to remove pollution, makeup, and other substances without irritating your skin. Some anti-ageing products prescribed by a dermatologist may burn or sting. When using a prescription anti-ageing product, this can be okay.

Even people who already have signs of premature skin ageing can benefit from making lifestyle changes. By protecting your skin from the sun, you give it a chance to repair some of the damage. Smokers who stop often notice that their skin looks healthier. By taking some preventive actions, we can slow the effects that this type of ageing has on our skin.

There is so much conflicting advice out there

If signs of ageing skin bother you, you may ask a beauty therapist for advice. However, this may result in you spending a lot of money on treatments and cosmetic creams that make no difference to your skin at all.  Why not consult a dermatologist instead? Yes, you will have to pay for a consultation, but you may end up spending a lot less money in the long run. Why? Because prescription skincare contains the right amount of active ingredients that are designed to penetrate deeper into the skin. New treatments and less-invasive procedures for smoothing wrinkles, tightening skin, and improving one’s complexion are giving many people younger-looking skin.

This woman was treated with Restylane skin fillers by Sue Ibrahim. Photos taken 3 weeks apart

Treated by Sue Ibrahim, these photographs were taken four weeks apart.

If you are worried about the effects the ageing process is having on your skin, then why not book in to see Sue Ibrahim. With over thirty years working within the medical and cosmetic dermatology sector, Sue has helped thousands of women and men improve the texture and appearance of their skin. Her professional but friendly approach is well known throughout the industry. Sue will never sell you any treatment that you do not need. As a Nurse Consultant in Dermatology she has won a number of industry awards and constantly receives a string of positive reviews about the treatment and service she provides.

Book your consultation today!


Acne, you don’t have to live with it!

Acne is a very common skin problem characterised by blackheads and whiteheads and pus-filled spots. Although we tend to associate acne as a teenage problem, here at Elan Medical Skin Clinic, we see acne in men and women of all ages.

Acne can vary in severity from a few spots on the face to quite a significant problem on the face, chest, shoulders and back.

It is not just the acne that can have a significant impact on self-confidence, the scarring and altered skin pigmentation that is left behind when the spots clear up can also cause a lot of distress.

Aacne treatments at Elan Medical Skin Clinics

Acne, you don’t have to live with it!

Unfortunately, many doctors can trivialise the effects acne can have on a person’s confidence, self-esteem and quality of life. Having spent over 30 years working within medical dermatology, Sue Ibrahim is passionate about treating acne early and effectively as she fully understands the consequences of living this spots on a daily basis. At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex, we take the time to listen to your concerns and devise a management plan to get your skin looking great again!

What causes acne?

The oil-producing (sebaceous) glands are particularly sensitive to certain hormones present in both males and females. These hormones stimulate the production of excess oil. At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the pores clog up the follicles. As a result, there is a build up of oil, producing blackheads and whiteheads. Acne bacteria lives on everyone’s skin and in those prone to acne, the build up of oil creates an ideal environment in which the bacteria can multiply. This triggers inflammation and the formation of red, pus-filled spots that can be quite uncomfortable.

Some acne can be caused by medication given for other medical conditions or by certain contraceptive pills or injections. Some tablets taken by body-builders contain hormones that can trigger acne and other problems.

How will your acne be diagnosed?

There are several varieties of acne that Sue Ibrahim will be able to diagnose at your dermatology consultation. We have extensive experience in dealing with all types of acne. We will discuss the treatment options available to you that can be very effective in preventing the formation of new spots and scarring.

How can acne be treated?

Acne treatments fall into the following categories:

  • Treatment with topical creams (prescription and/or non-prescription)
  • Treatment with oral antibiotics alongside topical creams
  • Treatment with oral hormones that counteract the hormones that can trigger acne
  • Isotretinoin tablets (Often referred to by the trade name Roaccutane (R))

There are also a number of cosmetic dermatology treatments that can help, although these treatments are not usually offered on the NHS:

And there are treatments that can help with scarring:

Many thousands of people have been treated by Sue Ibrahim for their acne at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex. It is our philosophy to work alongside your own GP, or a Consultant Dermatologist to provide the best possible outcome for our patients.

If you are fed up with suffering from acne or any other skin condition, why not book your dermatology consultation now!


All I want for Christmas is great skin…

The CHRISTMAS PARTY season is literally upon us, but with that comes the bitter cold, long nights, windswept hair and dull skin.

Sound familiar?

Well, fear not, because we’ve collected a list of the top tips to keen your skin in tip top condition this winter.

All I want for Christmas is great skin!

As told by UK’s leading skin guru – Sue Ibrahim – who has worked with many celebrity faces.

Sue promises to keep your skin looking as good as the A-listers’ over the Christmas period.

Here are her 8 steps to party proof skin:

1. According to Sue Ibrahim the most crucial thing you must do is simply wash your face

He says: “First and foremost if you are going out at night you need to have a good face wash. When you wash your face the most important thing is getting rid of the dead skin cells as well as the pollution.

“The product needs to suit your skin type; so if you have oily skin then make sure you have a product that is for oily skin. It is simple things like this that we’re getting wrong when buying our skin care products.”

2. Swap the Baileys for a glass of water once in a while – hard we know!

Sue says: “Little things like drinking two glasses of water for every unit of alcohol you consume to keep your skin hydrated and healthy looking is very important.”

“It also encourages the build up of collagen in your skin that gives your skin a more plump and dewy looking glow.”

3. Turn the heating down and wrap up

Surprised? Sue explains: “Over-using the central heating and blaring the heat around your home is just drying out your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin, it can make your skin sore and itchy.

“So to counter-act this we need to stop turning on the heat full blast and enjoy wrapping up warm and cozying up in blankets instead.

“However if you are going to use the central heating it is ideal to put a bowel of water in the room so the air gets a little moist as well.”

4. Sue is convinced these 3 things will keep your skin glowing

“Get plenty of sleep, always wear SPF no matter what time of the year it is and don’t smoke!” she says.

5. The number one party-proofing product?

For Lee it’s all in the regime, he says: “With skincare you can’t just use one item you need to have a proper skin regime.”

6. But how do you prevent getting bad skin?

Sue says: “Not putting too much make-up on – people don’t tend to give their skin chance to breath.

“It will also reveal wrinkles if you wear heavy make up. Try an mineral foundation instead”

7. And what’s the biggest skincare myth floating around?

According to Sue Ibrahim, it’s the following: “The biggest skin myth at the moment is that you only need to wear SPF in the summer.

“This just isn’t true. You must wear it everyday all year round.”

8. Who has the best skin in the celebrity world?

In Sue’s opinion it’s the one and only Meghan Markle, she says: “Meghan Markle – when I look at her she always appears un-sun damaged and she has a very natural tone and she is not overly worked on.

“She also wears neutral make-up and has great strong features.”

The eyes have it, says London skin expert

Two beautiful women show off their eyes - Rejuvenate your eyes at Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Essex

Rejuvenate your eyes at Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Essex

Our eyes say so much about us. They reveal our happiness, sorrow, physical wellbeing and sometimes our age. How many times has the morning after a boozy night been given away by our puffy, red eyes?! And where do we concentrate most of our make-up techniques and beauty products?

Get a helping hand to ensure your eyes look radiant and rejuvenated from Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Essex. Our resident skin expert, Sue Ibrahim has more than 30 years’ experience in dermatology and more than 20 in wrinkle reducing injections and dermal fillers.

Smooth laughter lines

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Mole checking is vital says London skin expert

Woman has her moles checked by a professional - Mole checking is essential says Sue Ibrahim the nurse consultant in dermatology from Elan Medical Clinics in central London and Essex

Mole checking is essential says Sue Ibrahim the nurse consultant in dermatology from Elan Medical Clinics in central London and Essex

Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless, but not always. If you have a certain type or large number of moles (more than 100), you are at greater risk of developing skin cancer.

The ABCDE method for checking moles is very useful but if in doubt, getting them professionally assessed is vital, says Sue Ibrahim. Sue, the nurse consultant in dermatology at Elan Medical Skin Clinics, has more than 30 years’ experience of assessing and removing moles using the latest advanced radio-wave technology. Click here to read reviews from her clients.


If you draw a line through the middle of a mole, the two sides will match, meaning it is symmetrical. Anything asymmetrical is a warning sign for melanoma.

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Sunburn increases risks of skin cancer

Are you aware that sunburn in childhood or adolescence can double the risk of developing melanoma, a lethal form of skin cancer in later life?

So how should you deal with sunburn if you have been burnt over the weekend? Our Dermatology Nurse Consultant, Sue Ibrahim, explains the immediate first aid steps you need to take….

Sunburn increases risks of skin cancer in later life

1. Act quickly and get out of the sun

Cover up the affected areas and stay in the shade until your sunburn has healed. Wear loose cotton clothing that allows your skin to breathe over the sunburnt areas.

2. Take over-the-counter pain relief

Analgesia or painkillers can help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation caused by sunburn. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen are ideal and should be continued for a period of at least 48 hours if there are no contraindications. Paracetamol will help with pain but has little effect on inflammation.

3. Cool the skin

Apply a cool compress to the skin such as a towel dampened with cool water for 15 minutes, or take a cool bath or shower. Aim to keep the temperature just below lukewarm. Make sure the shower has a gentle flow of water rather than being on full power.

If blisters are starting to develop, then a bath is preferable. Do not rub your skin with a towel, but gently pat it dry when you get out.

4. Moisturise

After a bath or shower, use an unperfumed cream or lotion to soothe the skin. Repeated applications of this are necessary to reduce the appearance of peeling and this may need to be continued for several weeks.

Aloe vera or soy-containing gels or lotions can be beneficial in soothing the skin. Aloe vera not only has a cooling effect on the skin but also acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Be wary of using creams or lotions that contain petroleum, benzocaine, or lidocaine. These can either trap heat in the skin or cause local skin irritation.

5. Stay hydrated

Sunburn can encourage fluid loss through the skin. Drinking plenty of water will prevent dehydration and help your body recover. Alcohol should ideally be avoided during this time as it will make dehydration worse.

6. Leave blisters alone

Try not to pop blisters as this can lead to infection and scarring. They will settle by themselves after a few days. In the meantime, treat the skin gently.

Remember sunburn can cause long-term damage to the skin and prevention should be the key.

For further information about skin cancer and its prevention, make an appointment to see our nurse consultant in dermatology who can discuss sun-protection and mole monitoring with you in detail.

Aftercare is as important as your treatment says London skin expert

Elan Medical DermaActives has recently launched DermaRecovery Stem Cell Cream, a brand new powerful skin rejuvenating aftercare cream that revitalises and nourishes ageing and traumatised skin.

Elan Medical DermaActives has recently launched DermaRecovery Stem Cell Cream, a brand new powerful skin rejuvenating aftercare cream that revitalises and nourishes ageing and traumatised skin.

Having a new skin treatment is very exciting – but please don’t forget your aftercare warns Sue Ibrahim, the skin expert at Elan Medical Skin Clinics in central London and Rayleigh Essex.

Following skin treatments such as veinwave, chemical peels, laser treatment, fractional skin resurfacing, plasma soft surgery, dermal fillers and wrinkle reduction our skin can become highly sensitive. This means that it is more prone to infection, which can lead to scaring. The solution? Ensure you use aftercare products that are:

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Spring is in the air!

It’s time to prepare your skin for the summer .

We have just passed the Spring Equinox, the clocks are about to change and now that the days are slowly starting to get longer and our mornings are brighter and warmer, there’s a real spring in the air.

In fact, as if from nowhere, spring has sprung. Everywhere you look, there are signs of new life – buds of colour bursting from the earth, baby animals prancing around the fields, and leaves and flowers blossoming from the trees.

Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!

As we start to move into a new season, it’s the perfect time for giving your skin a boost and at Elan Medical Skin Clinic we would like to offer you £20 to use against either a DermaBright skin peel, LED Phototherapy or a Endymed 3 Deep treatment.

Why not book a course of LED Phototherapy sessions? A course of 6 weekly treatments is normally £320 but with your £20 discount it will only cost you £300! Want to try one session first? No problem, you can use your £20 against one session. This will mean one £59 session will only cost you £39.

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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