Posts Tagged 'acne'

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.

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.

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.

Our Essex skin expert shines a ‘spot’light on acne myths

Young woman looks at a river. Suffering with acne? Call Sue Ibrahim at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex for help and advice.

Suffering with acne? Call Sue Ibrahim at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Essex for help and advice.

Despite being one of the most widespread skin conditions affecting teenagers AND adult men and women, acne is one of the most poorly understood. There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding acne and its causes. In this month’s blog, our skin expert and nurse consultant in dermatology, Sue Ibrahim, helps separate fact from fiction.

Myth: A poor diet high in fat and dairy causes acne

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Essex skin expert reveals the fads not back up by evidence

A girl drinks a sports drink - Essex skin expert from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh debunks the myths not based on scientific evidence

Essex skin expert from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh debunks the myths not based on scientific evidence

Before you reach for yet another glass of water, Essex skin expert, Sue Ibrahim would like to shed some light on some of the skin fads out there.

At Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh we do not offer new technology or recommend certain skin care regimes until there is a wealth of clinical evidence to show they are safe and the results are clinically proven. Here are some myths that have no evidence base behind the advice.

Skin fad no.1 – drink 2 litres of water a day

It is claimed that drinking two litres of water a day is the amount we should drink for optimal health. This much water is said to benefit us in many ways from flushing away harmful toxins from our bodies, reducing lines and wrinkles, clearing acne, to helping us lose weight and fighting infections, among others.

But according to American paediatrician Aaron E. Caroll from Indiana University, there’s absolutely no science to back up the idea that we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day, and there never was.

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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.

skinproblems

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.

Show yourself some love in 2018

Woman hugs herself. If you have a skin condition that is causing you distress, talk to Sue from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex.

Fit your own oxygen mask first in 2018. If you have a skin condition that is causing you distress, talk to Sue from Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex.

In a mid-air emergency, we are always told to fit our own oxygen mask first. This is to ensure we are able to help our loved ones in a calm, considerate and efficient manner – whilst being able to breathe ourselves!

It may sound selfish but it is absolutely essential – and not just in a life or death situation. If our own wellbeing isn’t being cared for, our ability to give our love to others is diminished, says nurse consultant in dermatology, Sue Ibrahim.

If we are dealing with a skin condition on top of all of life’s other stresses and strains, chances are the skin condition will worsen if it is ignored or put to the bottom of our list of things to sort. Does this sound familiar?

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For expert skin advice in Essex – ask Sue at Elan!

Elan Medical Skin Clinic’s skin expert Sue Ibrahim

Elan Medical Skin Clinic’s skin expert Sue Ibrahim.

Our skin is the largest organ of our body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. It protects us from microbes and the elements, helps regulate our body temperature and permits the sensations of touch, heat and cold.

Twenty square feet is a lot of area for things to go wrong, imperfections to show, maintenance to cover. But don’t fear, our nurse consultant in dermatology, Sue Ibrahim at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex has your skin covered!

We take exercise to improve our heart. We keep our brains active. We check our diet to ensure our digestive organs stay fit. But our skin often takes the brunt of external and internal abuse.

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Medical grade facials – now £10 off at Elan Medical Skin Clinics!

Summer offer - for your £10 discount, please quote Elan Summer Facial. Call our Rayleigh skin clinic on 01268 770660 to book. Hurry - offer ends 30.9.17.

Summer offer – for your £10 discount, please quote Elan Summer Facial. Call our Rayleigh skin clinic on 01268 770660 to book. Hurry – offer ends 30.9.17.

If you’ve only ever had a facial at a beauty salon or spa you will be totally blown away by the medical grade facials at Elan Medical Skin Clinic in Rayleigh, Essex.

The fully qualified team at Elan Medical Skin Clinic use clinically evidenced ingredients and protocols for their prescription-based facials that are tailored to your specific needs.

Elan’s medical grade facials are performed by our aesthetic therapist Amy and the protocol is prescribed by Sue Ibrahim, our nurse consultant in dermatology.

There are facials and there are Elan facials!

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From soothing your skin to smoothing your skin – our London skin expert does it all!

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

London skin expert from Elan Medical Skin Clinics can smooth and soothe your skin

In our last blog we talked about soothing lumps, bumps, rashes and itchy skin, this time it’s all about smoothing and rejuvenating our skin.

As well as having more than 30 years’ experience in dermatology, Elan Medical Skin Clinic director, Sue Ibrahim, has spent many years honing her cosmetic dermatology services. This means she can offer exceptional quality treatments including skin fillers, wrinkle relaxing injections, skin peels and plasma soft surgery.

Wrinkle reducing injections

Done properly, no-one should be able to tell you’ve had wrinkle reduction. By choosing the right practitioner to achieve your aim, you can rest assured that your appearance will be improved yet remain completely natural.

Wrinkle-relaxing injections are one of the most popular cosmetic medical treatments for facial lines and wrinkles in the UK. Our award-winning nurse consultant, Sue Ibrahim, has more than 15 years’ experience in advanced wrinkle reduction procedures.

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