Facial Skin Problems
Facial skin problems are extremely common issues in our clinic. Even if they’re painless or benign, they can be particularly stressful as they are easily visible and can seriously affect confidence and quality of life. That apart, many forms of sun damage and skin cancers also occur on the face and must be treated quickly and thoroughly. Let’s talk about some of the most common skin problems on the face in a bit more detail.
Breakouts & Acne
Among the most common problems we treat are breakouts, spots and acne. Even though spots are very common in teenagers, don’t be tempted to ignore them thinking they’re a normal part of growing up. Even mild acne can have a significant negative impact on confidence – and it has, in fact been linked to depression. While extremely common in teenagers, we’re now also seeing a large increase in cases of adult acne. Adult acne can persist into your 30s or 40s. As acne can leave scars, it is very important to get treatment early and not try to fix it yourself with inappropriate over-the-counter remedies.
The excellent news is that we now have highly effective treatments for breakouts and acne, including topical creams and washes, acne antibiotics and Vitamin A acid tablets (Isotretinoin/Roaccutane®). Isotretinoin is a valuable treatment which can switch off your acne for good. Tablets used to be prescribed in high doses with a higher risk of potential side effects. Yet we now know that this medication is still very effective in much lower doses, which most patients can tolerate without major problems. This means that in our clinic we have a lot of grateful patients who, after years of struggling, have finally seen the last of their acne.
If you’re suffering with acne well into your adult years and are also concerned with wrinkles, you might be interested to hear about a prescription cream available, which not only controls spots but gives great anti-ageing results, too!
Medication apart, it’s also important to consider your regular skincare in the light of recurrent spots. Our Dermatologists know that the wrong type of skincare can aggravate or even cause acne, so she will make a point of going through all your skincare products to see whether or not they’re suitable for your skintype. Last but not least, your consultation includes advice on Dermatology Grade Facials™. You might be interested to know that our Medical Aestheticians offer special acne Facials based on deep pore cleansing and comedone extractions, which are invaluable to any acne treatment.
Rosacea is a very common, chronic facial skin problem in adults that many patients mistake for acne. It is more common in women than men and more common in fairer skin types compared to darker complexion. Rosacea can show up as ‘spotty breakouts’ (papules and pustules) and/or facial redness and broken capillaries.
There is a range of very effective treatments available in our clinic. You might need different types of treatment for ‘bumps’ and redness. While spots and little bumps are relatively easy to treat, it was up until recently tricky to combat facial redness without lasers. However, we are now able to prescribe a highly effective prescription cream for redness.
As well as following your prescription topical or systemic medication programme, it’s also important to look at your individual lifestyle habits and to be aware of aggravating factors such as sun, spicy food, alcohol and coffee.
Your daily basic skincare regime is crucial, since the wrong type of products can cause flare-ups. Our Medical Aestheticians can support treatment with special rosacea facials and lymph drainage massages. Should a laser treatment be needed, we will refer you to an external laser dermatologist colleague.
Eczema & Dermatitis
Atopic dermatitis (‘eczema’) or seborrhoeic dermatitits are two other skin diseases that very commonly affect the face. Eczema is particularly common in babies and children, but still affects many adults. Apart from medicated creams and in severe cases tablets, regular application of the correct type of emollients is crucial. This is something that will be discussed in clinic with your Dermatologist and suitable, innovative moisturizers and bath additives will be recommended.
You might be interested to know that besides steroid creams, we can also prescribe steroid-free, anti-inflammatory creams. We’ll also discuss the influence of diet and if you wish, take a blood sample to properly test for food allergies. If a contact allergy is suspected, we can arrange patch testing. Environmental and lifestyle factors including your home environment and clothing will also be discussed in clinic.
Seborrhoeic dermatitits (seborrhoeic eczema) affects more men than women and is often particularly bad around the eyebrows and nose creases. The skin might look red and flaky and can occasionally itch mildly. This is a chronic condition, but we can prescribe effective creams or in severe cases tablets to control the condition well.
We see many patients with patchy facial pigmentation (melasma / chloasma) or mottled pigmentation (sun-related skin ageing) in clinic. Interestingly, it has been shown in scientific studies that irregular pigmentation has a significant influence on not only how old and attractive you are judged to be, but also how healthy you are perceived to be.
While pigmentation is a very stubborn problem that certainly won’t disappear overnight, but needs persistence and patience in treatment, we can prescribe good skin lightening creams to improve these issues. Combined our Advanced Pigment Treatments once per week in clinic, topical treatments are particularly effective.
It is also extremely important to combine any treatment for pigmentation with a broad-spectrum sun protection product of SPF 50. Remember – a single day of excess sun can undo months of treatment!
‘Liver spots’ (lentigines) on face and hands of fair skinned individuals can be gently frozen in clinic, treated with topical skin brightening products at home or approached with a special chemical peel.
These are of course only examples of things that can happen to your facial skin and there are many, many other things that can come up. The best thing, if you notice anything that concerns you on your face, is to arrange an appointment with us and let your Dermatologist diagnose the condition and initiate treatment.
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