Hydrocolloid is a substance which can be applied to pimples to reduce redness and absorb secretions within a matter of days.
Medipatch is a hydrocolloid patch. It is small, round and transparent. A patch is left on until it turns white. Then it is replaced with a new patch. It takes about 2 days for the pimple to disappear. It is waterproof and can be worn under make up. We recommend sleeping with a medipatch on.
There are 3 main causes of Acne
Firstly, the hair follicles in the skin become blocked when the skin produces too much sebum - the oil that keeps the skin hydrated. Dead skin cells also accumulate in the hair follicles, which contributes to pimple formation as well.
Secondly, bacteria in the skin cause infection and inflammation. You will see pus-filled pimples, which may be small or large and vary in number.
Thirdly, fluctuating hormone levels is also a causative factor. This is why we see acne commonly in teenagers when hormone levels increase.
Acne most commonly occurs on the face, however, acne on the back and chest may also be present.
When we treat acne we target each of these causes.
Tips to keep your acne under control
1. Use a good cleanser
We recommend Vitasure scrub for oily skin or the deep or gentle cleanser for less oily skin.
This exfoliates the skin and gets rid of excess dead skin cells as well as excess oil on the skin.
2. Use a moisturiser and sunblock every day
Try Vitasure day cream with SPF 30 or Cetaphil Daylong Sunblock.
8. Chemical peels
This is a type of chemical exfoliation of the skin. Specific mild acids may be applied to the skin to remove dead skin cells from the very outer layer of the skin and reducing oil production in the skin. Enerpeel® chemical peels are used in our practice to treat acne.
This contains vitamin A and is used to treat severe nodular acne. Common brands of Isotretinoin are Roaccutane®, Oratane® and Acnetane®.
This is not used as a first line treatment for acne. Your doctor will decide if it is required and you must be carefully monitored. Blood tests are done before starting Roacc and monthly therefter for the duration of your treatment.
Side effects include very dry skin, intial worsening of acne before improvement, sunburn, joint and muscle pain and raised cholesterol. You cannot take Roacc if you are pregnant as it can cause birth defects in babies.
You must have a pregnancy test before starting the treatment and use contraception while on the treatment.
4. Antibiotic treatments
You may need an antibiotic to attack the bacteria causing your acne. This may be a cream with antibiotic activity or antibiotic tablets.
Creams are much easier to use and have less side effects than antibiotic tablets as their effects are localised to the skin. We prefer to start with these. Examples are Zineryt®, Aknicare lotion/cream® and Epiduo®. Your doctor will choose the right one for you. Epiduo® and Aknicare lotion® target both bacteria and excess oils in the skin.
For chest or Back acne, a specialised formulation is available in the form of a spray for easy application. This is called Aknicare Chest & Back®.
Antibiotic tablets, e.g. Tetralysal® or Clindoxyl® will be prescribed at the discretion of your doctor.
Blue light can be used to treat inflammatory acne. This is called PDT (Photodynamic therapy). When blue light reaches the oil glands in the skin, it excites porphyrins, which are compounds inside acne bacteria. When activated by light, these porphyrins kill the bacteria from the inside out.
This is usually done at your Dermatologists office.
5. Hormonal treatment
These include contrceptives such as Yaz®, Yasmin® and Dianne 35®.
These are effective in controlling acne when the cause is hormonal.