Acne is a common skin condition that frequently affects teenagers and young adults of both sexes. However, adults of all ages from mid-twenties through to mid-fifties are increasingly affected and troubled by congested skin, blocked pores and skin blemishes.
You don’t have to let acne spoil your life. The Ruth Eaton Clinic offers a range of successful acne treatments to leave your skin clear and blemish free.
What Causes Acne?
The presence of acne is often influenced by the following factors:
- For the majority of acne sufferers, outbreaks begin at puberty because the body begins to produce hormones called androgens. These hormones cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge, which is a natural part of the body’s development but for acne sufferers these glands are over stimulated. Androgens are also responsible for acne flare-ups associated with the menstrual cycle and, on occasion, pregnancy.
- When the sebaceous gland is stimulated by androgens, it produces extra sebum (oil). Sebum mixes with common skin bacteria and dead skin cells that have been shed from the lining of the follicle. While this process is normal, the presence of extra sebum in the follicle increases the chances of clogging and can cause acne. Stress levels have also affected sebum production and can increase severity of acne.
- The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, (P. acnes for short) is present on all skins and is part of the skin’s natural sebum maintenance system. Once a follicle is plugged, P. acnes bacteria multiply rapidly, creating the chemical reaction we know as inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin.
- When you are exposed to unwanted bacteria your immune system sends in an army of white blood cells to attack. This is why pimples can be red, swollen and painful. The inflammatory response is different for everyone, but studies have shown that it is especially strong in adult women.
Fortunately, you have options!
There are many kinds of acne treatments available. Like you, acne is highly individual and response to treatments does vary from person to person. Often several treatments are recommended in combination.
At the Ruth Eaton Clinic we offer an extensive range of acne treatments and will advise on the most suitable procedure for you and your skin. IPL is a very strong option.
The light emitted from the Intense Pulsed Light system directly targets overactive sebaceous glands, greatly reducing the total number and severity of active lesions, and lessening the inflammation and occurrence of break-outs. The light stimulates the production of new collagen to improve skin texture, and can also reduce the appearance of red or brown areas of skin that are often associated with acne breakouts.
How is the acne treatment carried out?
A layer of chilled gel is applied to the skin to help guide the light. The light guide is placed onto the skin and a short pulse of light is released. The applicator is passed over the skin several times before moving onto the neighbouring area, and the process is repeated until the whole area is treated.
Each pulse of light treats a large area of skin and so the duration of the treatment is very short. The gel is removed and the skin is moisturised. During treatment protective eye wear will be provided.
Am I suitable for IPL acne treatment?
Almost everyone can be treated, apart from very dark skinned or tanned individuals. If you are pregnant or taking Roaccutane (an acne medication) it is best not to undergo laser or Intense Pulsed Light treatment.
How does the treatment feel?
Treatment is mildly uncomfortable but no anaesthesia is required. Many people describe the sensation as similar to the flick of an elastic band.
What should I expect after an IPL acne treatment?
Immediately after treatment the skin may appear red and a warm tingling sensation may be felt. Typically the skin is cooled to ease any discomfort and a calming gel is applied.
Are there any side effects?
The treated area can become quite red immediately after treatment but this usually disappears within a couple of hours. Most people experience no other side effects but very rarely a small blister could form or the skin may become temporarily lighter or darker.
How long does a typical IPL treatment for acne take?
A typical treatment session is approximately 30 minutes. Intense Pulsed Light treatment may be combined with glycolic acid facial peels or microdermabrasion for maximum results.
How many IPL treatments are necessary to impact on acne?
The number of treatments necessary varies from person to person, but typically 6 Intense Pulsed Light and 6 exfoliating treatments will result in a significant improvement. Intense Pulsed Light treatments should take place fortnightly with a glycolic acid peel or microdermabrasion treatment in between Intense Pulsed Light sessions.
Ruth Eaton’s Consultation Procedure
Prior to treatment you must first undergo a consultation with Ruth Eaton where details about your medical history are obtained in order to confirm suitability. Before proceeding you will be asked to sign a consent form and undergo a test patch.