Effective treatment and products to manage Acne, written by skincare specialist Bernice

A majority of teenagers go through a phase in life where they struggle with acne, normally during puberty. Unfortunately, a lot of people, especially women, suffer from adult acne later in life.

People who are not educated on the treatment of acne try every single over the counter treatment or home remedy to combat the signs of comedones (blackheads) and acne lesions, which often does more harm than good.

A person’s skin is like a storybook, telling us what is happening inside our body. As such, we need to make sure that we find the cause of the problem and not just treat the symptoms visible on the surface.

At Dr Nerina Wilkinson and Associates, we always start a treatment plan off with an in-depth VISIA skin analysis to make sure we follow the correct approach in relation to the specific circumstance.

When we look at acne, the first and most important part is looking at the skin’s barrier and what we refer to as the acid mantle. If this protective part of the skin is not functioning optimally, it won’t be able to heal itself.

People often make the mistake to go for all the “anti-oil” products, usually only break this barrier down even more. Your skin then produces more oil as a defense mechanism.

The VISIA analysis counts the percentage of Porphyrins (a byproduct of a good bacteria on the surface of the skin) We all need Phorpyrins on our skin. However, if this is not in balance, it can harvest acne breakouts.

Inflammation in our gut is often one of the major causes of acne. Unfortunately, we live in an era where we consume many unhealthy foods, preservatives and hormones, which cause conditions like leaky gut, intolerance to certain food and will lead to an unhappy gut and acne.

When all these factors are taken into consideration, we start to effectively treat the symptoms and lesions we see.

Firstly, when managing acne, we need to look at the severity of the condition and how we can control it, avoid scarring or other damage to the skin, and make scars look less noticeable. This can be achieved with topical medications, oral medications or therapies in a clinic.

Let’s have a look at the effective modalities we use at Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates:

1. Salicylic Acid and Azelaic Acid: Our first choice of ingredients when we treat active acne. This is used in treatments like superficial chemical peels which help to reduce

oil production, stimulate cellular turnover, fight bacteria, and reduce redness and inflammation on the skin. We usually suggest a course of 6 peels every 2-4 weeks.

2. LED Light Therapy: An effective, non-invasive treatment to do on its own or in combination with a chemical peel. Different light spectrums are used to repair and rejuvenate:

· damaged cells,

· kill bacteria, and

· stimulate new collagen, elastin, and healthy cellular activity and turnover.

3. 3D-Microneeedling: Done with a selection of specialised solutions to stimulate new collagen to improve scarring, making it less noticeable.

4. Mesoestetic Acnelan: An intensive treatment modality designed to deeply clean the skin from blocked pores, remove impurities and improve skin texture. This is done in a 3 treatment course.

5. Growth Factor Induction Therapy: A treatment modality that introduces active growth factors by gently stamping the skin. Growth factors naturally boost the body’s repair processes, stimulate new collagen, which helps to fade scars and also stimulate cellular turnover to improve texture.

6. It is very important to follow a supportive homecare regime to have a successful outcome in the treatment and maintenance of acne. We often look at an anti-bacterial cleanser, a good SPF to prevent post-inflammatory pigmentation, resurfacing ingredients like vitamin A, Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids, and a product to balance and maintain a healthy barrier.

We will always perform a formal re-evaluation on the skin after 6 treatments to determine whether the treatment was and will remain effective. In some cases, oral medications are needed when deep cystic and nodular acne is visible. This will include therapies like antibiotics, Isotretinoin or Oral Contraceptives.

At Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates we use a combination approach of a skin specialist and our Dr’s with a special interest in Aesthetic medicine to guide you through your journey in achieving healthy and optimal functional skin.