We recently asked our team of Consultant Dermatologists to share their skincare journey in #MySkincareID. As you may have read, it is perhaps no coincidence that all of the Dermatologists featured in the series had struggled with severe acne at some point in their lives.
Acne, in its many forms, affects 85% of 12 - 24 yr olds. Unfortunately it often continues into adulthood. In a recent study, 35% of women and 20% of men reported acne in their 30s and 26% of women and 12% of men in 40’s.
Acne can produce several types of skin lesions, including whiteheads (closed comedones), blackheads (open comedones), pustules, papules, cysts and nodules, but most importantly, it can cause disfiguring scarring.
Typically, mild acne responds to over-the-counter medications. However, severe, long-term, or scarring acne, can have a negative impact on self esteem, confidence and general mental health. Over the next three weeks, Prof Ryan will discuss managing acne, starting with skincare.
▫️For patients with mild acne, using a small amount of a retinoid (retinol or tretinoin) at night reduces comedonal (blackhead and whitehead) activity and
inflammatory acne lesions. Over the counter preparations containing salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide can also be helpful.
▫️It is important not to pick, squeeze or ‘’pop’’ spots as this may cause deeper dermal scarring.
▫️Opt for gentle cleansers and chemical exfoliators as harsh or abrasive products can aggravate or inflame acne.
▫️Opt for non-comedonal, oil-free moisturisers and makeup. Layering multiple skincare products and thick foundations can cause mechanical obstruction sometimes resulting in acne cosmetica.
▫️When facing breakouts, it is important to know what is manageable with regular skincare, and when to seek medical advice. One of the most frustrating problems we encounter in clinic is patients struggling with adult hormonal acne who have spent thousands of euros on complex skin care regimens and treatments at cosmetic clinics when they needed simple medical treatment. For those with grumbling adult acne they may be collecting further scars while they waste time and money.
Patients should visit their GP or Dermatologist
for expert medical advice if they have persistent acne, not responding to over
the counter acne preparations, or any evidence of scarring.