In one of the more bizarre fashion statements ever, Malasyian designer Moto Guo sent his models down the Mens Fashion week runway in Milan last week, with pimples on their faces, not covered up with tons of make up, but highlighted as a fashion accessory.
Apparently the designer wanted to remind people its okay to be human. Reaction to Guo’s fashion statement has been mixed, with some commentators applauding his efforts to normalise taboo skin conditions like acne, others saying, trying to make acne “cool” trivialises a condition that causes many of those who have it significant emotional trauma.
I believe highlighting acne as a real problem, even in this somewhat unusual way, is a good thing. Acne is the commonest health problem experienced by young adult women and men and young adult women in particular are four times more likely to suffer from chronic treatment resistant acne.
We all need to speak about this more, so that those with acne don’t feel isolated and alone in their struggle to get clear skin. Everyday I receive a dozen photographs of young adult women and men with acne who come to our Clinics for help. I am so pleased that we now have a solution to offer them.
University of Osnabrück researcher Bodo Melnik has published more evidence linking diet to the development of acne.
Melnik calls into question the pivotal role of androgens in acne development, calling insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) the main culprit. He supports his argument with the fact that while androgen levels remain high after puberty, IGF-1 levels drop off about the same time acne usually does.
Or at least, they should. The problem is that our Western diet, high in saturated fats, dairy and refined carbohydrates, can exacerbate and sustain IGF-1 levels such that acne comes on stronger and lasts longer than it should, even into adulthood. Melnik cites several populations that eat paleo-style diets who also happen to be acne free.
The irony is that while most of us grew up being told that a poor diet causes acne, scientists have spent the past decade or so refuting this. While the old wives tales weren’t exactly on the mark (I recall fatty foods and chocolate as being no-nos),they weren’t entirely wrong either. Rather than specific foods, dairy and foods high in saturated and/or trans fats should be avoided in general. Instead, the paleo-style diet recommended by Melnik includes lots of vegetables and low-glycemic fruits with plenty of fish, rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Reservatrol, a compound found in wines also helps, but then again that’s not particularly helpful for acne sufferers not old enough to drink.
So for now, it does make sense for anyone with acne to cut out dairy and fatty foods, which is good for the waistline as well as your skin.
If you want to learn more about the Paleo diet, chef Pete Evans is a great advocate and his website is https://www.thepaleoway.com.
Em Ford has made a very powerful You Tube video in which she shows her skin un made up and the nasty comments she received on Social Media about it, then she applies make up and displays both the positive and negative responses she received once her acne was covered up. The video has attracted 1.5 million responses and is very courageous, given that Em is a beautiful girl, with or without her make up.
Adult acne is very common in young adult women and is often treatment resistant. It is also a hidden problem as women with adult acne become very skilled at disguising it with make up.
My heart goes out to her and every other person who is plagued by breakouts and I feel very honoured to be able to help with this huge problem every day.
My post today is about Sebaceous Hyperplasia, a condition seen more commonly in middle age but it can affect young adults as well. It is a benign condition ( meaning it does not create any harm ) but it can be a significant cosmetic problem for some people. Each lesion appears on the surface of the skin as a lump, as each lesion is a sebaceous gland that has grown out onto the skin. In the centre of each lump is a pore, which is generally enlarged.
The biggest problem with Sebaceous Hyperplasia is that nobody treats it ( which I still find extraordinary ) and if you do find some one who does, the chances are they will over treat the lesions with a laser. Over the years I have had clients who have gone to multiple doctors only to be told there is nothing that can be done.
Well the good news is, there is something that can be done. Sebaceous Hyperplasia is very readily treatable with gentle diathermy ( a heat and seal treatment ) and provided the treatment is down very gently, the cosmetic result is very good.
Gentle Diathermy for Sebaceous Hyperplasia will be available at all my Clearskincare Clinics in the coming weeks.
A big part of my job now is supervising more than 150 therapists around Australia and NZ who perform SGA. Every day I look at tens of photos of clients with Acne in all its guises. I particularly enjoy when therapists send me before and after photos of the success they had in treating a client with Acne. They are always as thrilled with the results as the client and have a tremendous sense of fulfilment. And sometimes a set of before and afters come to me that are so extraordinary I am as thrilled as them. So today I am sharing one such client with you all. OL came to us three months ago with severe breakouts and today he is well on his way to control following two SGA treatments, two peels and two LED light treatments as well as his home care, including Stieva A. The redness that he still has will fade over the next 6 to 9 months and in 12 months, his Acne will just be an unpleasant memory.
This month will mark 3 years since I found SGA during a trip to a conference in Asia. I am constantly amazed at how few patients are referred to me by our Clinics, because SGA is not working for them. So far this year I have helped with 2 or 3 whose acne has not settled with 6 – 10 SGA treatments. Given we are treating thousands of patients with acne and breakouts, this is pretty remarkable. I have spent most of this year working out how to take SGA to the world as there are so many people who have chronic treatment resistant acne. I am hoping to launch a new website in the New Year which will offer online consultations, advice on where in-Clinic SGA is available and home based treatment in some countries.
In the meantime, here are a few more examples of the great results we are achieving with SGA.
We have just passed our 2 year anniversary from the introduction of SGA into our Clinics and we have now treated over 6,000 clients with acne and breakouts with SGA. We have learnt that the number of treatments required to bring acne and breakouts under control is higher than we first anticipated. If you come to one of the Clinics today for your acne consult, you will be advised that it will take 8 – 10 treatments to see a significant improvement in your skin. Some clients need less, some clients need more, but 8 – 10 treatments is the average, so patience is a necessity!
Here are some more fantastic before and afters:
I am posting a review that the mother of one of our clients posted to our Facebook page. It really sums up what a huge difference SGA can make to acne sufferers’ lives:
At first I was very cautious as we had tried everything for Chelsea’s skin, so many things, so this really was my last shot for her as I would not have known what to do next. It has taken about 7 treatments if I recall so far but she is finally going to school without makeup. She hasnt done that in years. Always put a lot on to cover her acne, scarring, outbreaks and then been bullied some more for being a “cake face” or other names kids like to call others who struggle with acne. My heart bled for her when she told me she was injuring herself because she couldn’t take the bullying anymore and she hated her skin. Well since starting this treatment I have seen a different person emerge, a beautiful confident young lady and I can not thank you enough for providing this service in Perth that has been able to give her that lease of life back she deserved. I have taken your brochures to promote what you do to the Drs at the surgery who were unaware of what you offer. If we can help one more person become aware of you and help them, then this journey has been well worth it. No more Drs, medications, ointments, crap skin products that promise miracles because they are endorsed by this or that celebrity which then fail to live up to the hype but rob you blind. We see that light at the end of the tunnel. I am certainly bringing my son in should he get skin like she had.