Adult Acne – “Like an Epidemic”

Below is a story from the Telegraph London I have republished.  Adult Acne has been on the rise for a number of years now, but rarely gets the attention that such a common and distressing condition deserves. I have been on a mission for some time now to raise awareness of this condition, which is 4-5 times more common in adult women than men and much more treatment resistant.

SGA ( Sebaceous Gland Ablation ) has been a godsend for our clients with Adult Acne and breakouts over the past four years and it is my goal for 2016, that everyone in Australia and New Zealand who has Adult Acne, will hear about SGA and find a permanent solution for their Acne and enjoy clear skin.

Wish me luck!

Vicky Eldridge breezed through her teenage years and twenties without so much as a blotch or blemish. But two years ago, aged 34, the unthinkable happened; she began to be plagued by spots.

“They started on my chin and came up around that time of the month, then lasted longer and longer until they were there all the time,” says Eldridge, now 36, who lives in Chelsea. “Dating was out of the question; I wouldn’t want to meet anyone with my face looking like that.”

“I tried everything to cover them up. Before then, I had always taken my nice, smooth skin for granted. I was miserable, embarrassed and self-conscious. I would apologise to friends in advance about it – if my skin was bad, I would even stay in. Dating was out of the question; I wouldn’t want to meet anyone with my face looking like that. I grew depressed, low and very emotional.”

As the editor of a beauty magazine and someone who prided herself on knowing how to look good, her shame was all the more marked; at worst, Eldridge would call in sick when she had a particularly “horrific” breakout.

And as extreme as her case sounds, Eldridge is just one of an increasing number of people in Western countries affected by adult acne, an affliction doctors and dermatologists agree is on the rise, largely due to an increase in stress and poor diet.

Dr Stefanie Williams, medical director of Eudelo (European Dermatology London), does not mince her words on the subject. “It is like an epidemic. We have so many sufferers [in this country]. It is important to acknowledge that it is a skin disease. It is not normal and not a right of passage.”

Indeed, a study of 92 private dermatology clinics last year found a 200 per cent rise in the number of adults seeking specialist acne treatment. A quarter of those who visit their doctor have skin problems – from acne to psoriasis or eczema – and women are five times more likely than men to be affected by late-life acne, due to fluctuating hormones during pregnancy, the menstrual cycle and changing methods of contraception (the pill, coil or patches) – Cameron Diaz and Victoria Beckham have, notably, suffered.

Acne is caused by the over-production of oil from sebaceous glands, usually driven by changes in hormone levels, leading to blocked and inflamed pores.

Low-level changes in stress have long been linked to problematic skin as the hormone cortisol contributes to breakouts. Dr Nick Lowe, a consultant dermatologist believes it is this stress that is fueling the rise, especially in women who are working full-time while simultaneously raising families. “There are so many triggers; perceived shortness of time, general instability in lots of parts of the world, women being pressured at both work and home.”

Eldridge agrees mounting stress was integral to the onset of her acne. “Skin is a reflection of what is going on in the inside and I was burning the candle at both ends. I was working long hours, partying and not sleeping enough. It was definitely a contributing factor.”

As well as causing physical scars, the emotional impact of poor skin can reverberate through relationships, work and home life. The British Skin Foundation found that 95 per cent of acne sufferers say it impacts their daily lives and 63 per cent experience lower self-confidence.

Vicky managed her acne with treatments and a strict diet
Vicky managed her acne with treatments and a strict diet 

Vicky switched to a diet with an emphasis on healthy eating and fresh vegetables. After committing to giving up alcohol and avoiding dairy and sugar, where possible, she finally saw an improvement in her skin.

After three months, her cystic acne subsided and a prescription vitamin A cream saw off the rest of her breakouts.

Now Eldridge is spot-free, 10 months sober and has been known to leave the house without make-up for the first time in years.

“It was a long slog and there was no one quick fix,” she says. “Making the dietary changes certainly had a dramatic impact and then the cream finished it off. I know it will need maintenance but my face looks amazing now and there is no scarring.”

Republished from The Telegraph London

 

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

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.

Sebaceous hyperplasia 1

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Free Online Acne Consultation Service

I am really excited to tell you that within one week, my new free, online Acne Consultation service will be up and running. I have had a dream of offering this service for a long time, as I have been offering online consultations for my Clinics for a number of years. I have been inspired by an American website called Yo Derm ( agree, terrible name ) which is offering online Acne Consultations for $59, not so much for its service, which I think is a little limited ( I believe there is a lot more to managing Acne than giving people prescriptions ), but for its resounding endorsement of telemedicine, which is the name for conducting consultations via mobile, web or email, rather than face to face.

Diagnosis and management of Acne is ideally suited to telemedicine as the physical examination is visual and can be performed almost as effectively via photography.

I am completely passionate about giving every person with Acne the opportunity to clear their skin. This blog was the start of this mission and my online consultation service is the next key step.

So, from October 17th, 2013, you will be able to email me your photos and the answers to a small number of clinical questions and I will email back to you an individualised treatment plan. My next post will have my email address and instructions regarding what information I will need to assess your case.

 

I have posted some information about telemedicine from the Yo Derm site, which you might find interesting :

Effectiveness of Telemedicine

Telemedicine for dermatology patients is a great tool because skin conditions can be readily examined in digital still or video images,”1 said Armstrong, who also serves as director of the health system’s teledermatology program. “Our study found real and beneficial differences in the vast majority of teledermatology cases we analyzed,” said Armstrong. “With rapid improvements in interactive mobile platforms, connectivity speed and visual clarity, telehealth services like dermatology will play a bigger and bigger role in improving the quality of care and the access to specialty services that people deserve no matter where they live.”1

April Armstrong, M.D.http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/6127

Benefits of Telemedicine

“(Teledermatology) represents an excellent novel approach to treatment of a huge underserved patient group. Many people with moderate to severe acne live in areas without access to a dermatologist and may not be able to afford traditional care or may not even be aware that effective treatments are available. By using modern technology, acne treatment can be delivered remotely to this population to provide significant medical as well as psychological benefits at a significant cost savings.”

James Clint Jones, M.D.

Technological Advantages

“(Regarding teledermatology) In addition to increasing efficiency, the technology is a boon to patients and primary care providers seeking consultation, particularly those in medically underserved or remote areas. Travel time to a dermatologist is eliminated and there is no waiting.”2


California Healthcare Foundationhttp://www.chcf.org/publications/2009/12/storeandforward-teledermatology-applications

Patient Satisfaction

“Patient satisfaction with care received through teledermatology was equivalent to that with face-to-face dermatology.”3

Hsueh, Eastman, McFarland, Raugi, and ReiberTeledermatology Patient Satisfaction in the Pacific Northwest

Effectiveness of Online Acne Care

“Delivering follow-up care to acne patients via an e-visit platform produced clinical outcomes equivalent to those of conventional office visits.”4

Watson, Bergman, Williams, KvedarA Randomized Trial to Evaluate the Efficacy of Online Follow-up Visits in the Management of Acne