As a practicing GP I see quite a few people coming to the surgery with acne – but in truth nowhere near as many as there should be!
Many people suffer the condition hoping it will clear up by itself and subsequently become more and more depressed when it leaves its lasting legacy of scarring. The psychological effects of this condition should not be underestimated.
Recently I came across a website specifically for Acne sufferers and the forum made for some sad reading, for instance there were 1,940 answers to “What is the meanest thing that someone has said about your acne” and over 211,096 people had viewed it. Many people talked about how they couldn’t face their reflection and how they put off going out; depression was common.
So what is acne?
There are multiple causes of acne including hormone dysfunction, allergies, environmental factors and nutrition deficiencies.
Acne scars result after skin follicles become blocked by excessive oils and the physiology of keratin and old skin cells trigger an inflammatory response reaction. The skin will attempt to heal and the scar tissue results as the collagen becomes deformed and thickens.
Scar tissue is the same protein (collagen) as the tissue that it replaces, but the fibre composition of the protein is different. Instead of a nice “basket weave” formation of fibres, the collagen in scar tissue is aligned in a single direction resulting in a pronounced and thicker appearance. Acne treatments for most are long term and can result in scarring – but it doesn’t have to be that way!
At my clinic in Taunton, Somerset, I can do three things to help you if you are an acne sufferer, or if you were and have been left scarred and unhappy.