Acne Tips & Advice

Sarah, Allcare Dunleer pharmacist, discusses the management of acne:


Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when dead skin cells and oil clog up hair follicles (pores) in the skin. When the skin surface is disrupted like this, bacteria can get into the follicles causing pimples. Acne may present in a variety of ways, such as, whiteheads, blackheads, cysts, playlets etc. and while it is most common on the face, it can also affect the chest, back, and shoulders. Unfortunately, acne may not just affect teenagers, as for some patients it can continue into their 40’s or 50’s, so a solid base of information is a great foundation for treatment.


Firstly, let’s talk about mental health, as acne can be a very frustrating condition to deal with. It can leave patients feeling shy or anxious, so a huge part of our treatment goal, is to help our patients feel confident about themselves again and reduce the stress they may be under. We are always here to help if your acne is leaving you feeling down, just pop in-store and talk to our staff about treatments, we will be more than happy to help.


Topical treatments:

There is a selection of treatments that can be applied to the skin to combat acne, the most common one probably being benzoyl peroxide (Acnecide). This works as an antiseptic, decreasing the number of bacteria on the skin surface, and can have an anti-inflammatory effect. This should only be used sparingly and for a short course of treatment. Tea tree oil can have great results when treating acne because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it has been found to reduce swelling, calm redness, decrease scarring and leave the skin's surface smoother. We also have a range of targeted products including Avene Cleanance Comedomed Anti-Blemishes Concentrate

and LaRoche Posay Effaclar AI to name a few.


Sarah’s Top Tip:

Having suffered from “Problem Skin” the best advice I was ever given was not to let my skin get dry. The theory being, if the skin is dry it overcompensates by producing too much oil, which then clogs the pores. And the second part of that advice was to use a water-based moisturiser, like a lotion, rather than an oil-based one. My hero product for this is the Vichy Aqualia Gel Cream. This routine completely changed my skin, and I have passed it on to many patients since.


Now on to the cleansers:

With acne management, it is so important to keep the skin clean. Let it become your morning and nighttime skin ritual. While it may take some trial and error to get the product that suits your skin best, we have a brilliant selection to choose from, like the La Roche Posay Effaclar range, Cerave, or the Avene Cleanance range. Exfoliating the skin is a must to keep the dead skin cells on the surface at bay. While our advice for cleansing is twice a day, exfoliating should only be done roughly every 3 days. Always follow up cleansing with moisturising. CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser provides gentle, non-irritating exfoliation for the face and body.


Treating your skin from the inside out:

As part of a treatment plan, I would always recommend a probiotic, like Aya Ultimate 10 billion. Probiotics support the balance of ‘good bacteria in the body and may help to calm internal and external inflammation. They may also positively impact skin barrier function. Feeding your gut with good bacteria may also have a positive effect on your mental health and stress response which is really important when it comes to a condition like an acne. Zinc supplementation e.g. AYA Zinc tablets can help to reduce oil production in the skin and may help to provide some protection against bacterial infection in the skin. Vitamin E is also recommended for skin health. Always check with our Allcare staff about dosing, especially if you are taking other multivitamin products or prescribed medicines.


And of course, hydration is key! Good old water and plenty of it (2L a day), as well as a healthy balanced diet, will always benefit your skin.


This brief treatment guide is just a sample of the knowledge our teams have built up over years of experience, please call in to see us for some tailored advice and as always, if your acne is severe and is persisting even with these treatments, our advice would be to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss some more treatment options.


Looking for some help with your skin? Speak to an Allcare Pharmacist today!

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