acne

Acne Treatment

DifferinDifferin

Acne affects the oil glands and hair follicles within the skin, usually on the face but sometimes on other areas of the body too such as the neck and back.

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DuacDuac

Acne is a very common issue with an estimated 80% of people aged between 11 and 30 suffering with an outbreak of it as some point.

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EpiduoEpiduo

There is a misinformed belief that it is best to leave acne alone and let it run its course. The top experts on this skin infection know that this is not the best course of action though, because without treatment scarring and dark spots can develop on the skin as the acne clears.

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LymecyclineLymecycline

Acne is caused by a normally harmless bacteria which lives on the skin. When a hair follicle gets blocked it causes either a white or black head and this bacteria can then infect the follicle and cause a number of acne related reactions including papules, nodules, pustules and cysts.

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OxytetracyclineOxytetracycline

Acne is known to cause a wide variety of issues with the skin including an oily build up, spots and painful skin which can even be hot to the touch.

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ZinerytZineryt

Zineryt is an antibiotic solution which helps to fight the bacteria which causes acne whilst also healing the skin itself which makes it a popular choice for acne sufferers.

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What is Acne?

Acne is a very common skin condition which occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin called sebum. This plug usually gets infected by bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes and this creates the spots though the severity of an outbreak depends on the strain of bacteria.

There are six main types of outbreak which fall under the umbrella term, ‘Acne’. They are:

  • blackheads - known as open comedones, these are follicles with a wider opening which are plugged with sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. A chemical reaction between this material and oxygen results in this build up turning black in colour.
  • whiteheads - known as closed comedones, these spots are filled with the same material as a blackhead but the opening in the skin is microscopic and since oxygen cannot get into it reminds white.
  • papules - these are small bumps which are often red and painful to touch
  • pustules - they have a similar look to papules but with a white centre caused by a pus build-up
  • nodules - felt as painful hard lumps under the skin
  • cysts - large lumps filled with pus and most likely to leave a scar.
How effective are Acne treatments?

Medications reduce oil production, speed up skin cell turnover, fight infection from bacteria, reduce inflammation and reduce scarring.

You will be recommended an acne treatment based on a number of factors including your age, the severity and/or type of acne you have and what you are happy to try. For example, some treatments require you to wash your face and/or apply a gel or cream twice a day which may be considered too much of a commitment to someone who lives a very busy lifestyle. Medication which comes in the form of an antibiotic can affect gut health and this may not be the best choice for certain patients either. These types of concerns can be discussed with your doctor so you can find the most effective treatment for your situation.

In terms of the length of time it takes to see changes to your skin, it can depend on the severity of your acne and where you are in your skin’s shedding cycle when you begin the treatment. Some treatments will show results from one week whereas others may take six to eight weeks.

Is it safe to use Acne treatments?

All products on the market and available from your doctor and/or chemist, both on prescription or over-the-counter, are considered to be safe but the side effects of these products can differ from person to person based on a number of factors including medical issues you already suffer from, medication you take and your age amongst others.

There are a number of active ingredients in different acne treatments and each one could have a slightly different reaction in the patient using them. In some people, an ingredient which is perfectly safe and causes no side effects or else very minimal effects could cause a severe reaction in someone else due to allergies.

As such, it is highly recommended you discuss your acne concerns with your GP or Click Pharmacy pharmacist or doctor before trying any products, either over the counter or on prescription.

What different Acne treatments are available?

There is a range of acne treatments on offer including topical creams and gels, oral tablets including antibiotics as well as certain therapies such as chemical peels and black or white head extraction.

Depending on the type of acne you have and the severity of it you may wish to start with a milder, topical treatment and progress on to using oral medications if necessary. You can also mix both oral and topical together in more extreme cases but this will be discussed with your Click Pharmacy doctor prior to use.

The most commonly used ingredients in topical treatments are:

  • retinoids
  • antibiotics
  • salicylic acid and azelaic acid
  • dapsone

The most common oral medications are:

  • antibiotics
  • combined oral contraceptives
  • anti-androgen agents
  • isotretinoin

Can I buy the Acne treatment online?

You can purchase many acne treatments online rather than booking an appointment with your GP by using Click Pharmacy. You will be promoted to fill in a short medical questionnaire which will give our doctors the relevant information to assess which treatment will be more beneficial for you. From there you will be given a prescription and rather than going to your local chemist, we will send your medication to you directly.

Does an Acne treatment work immediately?

Different acne treatments will work in a variety of ways and though some may appear to work more quickly they all get to work right away.

Certain gels and creams which are placed directly on the affected area will work immediately and will help you see changes within a week or two in some cases. When antibiotics are being used to treat more severe cases, either orally or topically, it may appear to be taking longer to work and can even look as though it is getting worse before it gets better. The reason for this is that the formulation is working deep within the skin to stop the acne forming at its source by helping to dry out the excess oil and destroy the bacteria within the hair follicles which are causing the acne. As this begins to work, the acne will start to clear and your skin will be able to return to its natural tone and texture.

Can I buy the Acne treatment online?

You can purchase many acne treatments online rather than booking an appointment with your GP by using Click Pharmacy. You will be prompted to fill in a short medical questionnaire which will give our doctors the relevant information to assess which treatment will be most beneficial for you.

From there you will be given a prescription and rather than going to your local chemist, we will send your medication to you directly.

What are the side effects of Acne treatments?

From the strength of the medication you are using to the method of treatment, the side effects of acne treatments can depend on a number of factors.

Most side effects are mild and temporary and ease as your body learns to tolerate the medication. When using topical medications these can include redness, irritation or a mild stinging to the affected area but if your skin burns or peels then tell your doctor as soon as possible.

The side effects of oral medications can vary and include nausea and an upset stomach as well as dizziness and lightheadedness.

If you find you experience very severe reactions from either type of treatment such as issues with your breathing or swelling to the tongue, lips or throat, then get medical help right away and stop using the treatment.

If using birth control when taking an antibiotic it is recommended you use a secondary form of protection as it can affect how well it works. Certain drugs used to treat acne can also have very dangerous side effects when pregnant; so if you are pregnant or become pregnant whilst using them, speak to a doctor right away to discuss your options.