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As an Acne Specialist Clinic we have seen hundreds of acne clients. Cases vary from those with a couple of pre-cycle breakouts, to clients with cystic, inflamed and infected acne covering most of the face. Usually clients come to us having tried a number of avenues to get control of their skin, having already explored medical and pharmaceutical treatments by seeing the GP or Dermatologist.

Our Clinic's focus is to tackle acne through changes to diet, incorporating the right home care products and regular in clinic treatments such peels and LED light therapy sessions. However there are times when the client's skin is too infected, painful or their progress is too slow – in these cases we refer back to their GP or Dermatologist. Prescription medication is sometimes necessary to break the infection cycle, while we continue to support the client with limited dermal treatment and internal natural medicine.

So let's explore the most common medication used for Acne and take a look at the pros and cons of what your GP or Dermatologist might prescribe.

If you visit your GP complaining of acne or breakouts they are most likely to prescribe skin targeting antibiotics. The antibiotics work by killing the bacteria blocking healthy cell regeneration and essentially ‘killing’ the bad bacteria – it can work two ways; topically applied antibiotics works by killing the bacteria directly on the surface of the skin, and orally taken antibiotics work by killing the bacteria in your pores. Courses of antibiotics are generally prescribed for 3-6 month periods, with a strong encouragement to seek a long term skin care regime at a skin care clinic specialising in acne recovery. Antibiotics allow us to stop infection quickly and then work on the skin when it is strong enough to be handled. However antibiotics are not always successful and some clients find they need to try 2-3 different types before seeing changes. Supporting inner health with a strong probiotic and avoiding sun exposure is always important when using antibiotics for acne.

Not just for birth control, The Pill is also commonly used for acne and primarily works to balance hormones. Many female clients come to us having been prescribed The Pill specifically for breakouts when they were 16-17 yrs old. Having reached their late-twenties and starting to think about conception, they are often too scared to come The Pill for fear of the acne recurring, so they seek our help as an alternative. Generally very effective in keeping breakouts at bay The Pill is a suppressant and will only control hormones and breakouts while you are taking it. If you'd like to know more about the effects of The Pill on acne you can head over to our previous blog post.

Prescribed by Dermatologists, Accutane or Roaccutane is a strong acne medication for medium to severe acne cases that have not responded to other treatment. Accutane is a synthetic vitamin A and has two main purposes: firstly, it lowers the bacterial number in hair follicles that make these area’s undesirable for growth of acne causing bacteria. Secondly, it assists in the regulation of keratinisation of the follicle. Simply put, it increases the turnover of dead skin to unblock the clogged follicles and keep them clear. Isotretinoin treatment is usually very successful in addressing acne, in most cases the acne disappears completely. However, the downsides of this medication are extreme dehydration and dryness of the skin, skin sensitivity, light sensitivity and reported mood disorders in rare cases.

It is important to understand that most available acne medication are successful in treating acne, however this is usually a temporary fix as the cause of the acne, be that dietary, hormonal or dermal, has not been fully addressed. As a Specialist Acne Clinic our goal is to give clients a long term solution to acne and discover the internal cause and trigger of each client's acne. Get in touch if you'd like to take control of your skin!

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