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Skin confidence: all about acne

We reveal the latest thinking, studies, products and procedures

It’s Acne Awareness Month, highlighting one of the most common skin conditions that can affect teenagers and adults alike; in fact, adult acne is now a common problem. There was once a stigma attached to having spots – acne was seen as unattractive and unclean, leading sufferers to feel embarrassed, ashamed and lacking in self-confidence.  
However, a new breed of skinfluencers have taken to social media to own their breakouts, building communities of like-minded ‘skin tribes’ and changing the traditional acne narrative to one that’s more accepting and embracing. 

At EV we applaud acne positivity, and are committed to continual conversations about skin conditions such as acne and rosacea, along with offering the latest expert advice.

Acne can be comedonal, where blackheads or skin coloured bumps are present, or inflammatory, which results in red and inflamed spots, pustules and cysts. 

Hormonal acne occurs due to cells becoming sensitive to the male hormone testosterone and can cause deeper spots and cysts. When it’s not hormonal or caused by excess oil production, acne is often caused by a bacteria that grows in the thickness of the skin. 

“For that bacteria to turn into acne, it must spark an inflammation,” says Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme from Adonia Medical Clinic. “This inflammation is the body's response to the presence of the bacteria – it sends cells to get rid of the bacteria, which causes the skin to become inflamed. For this reason, the inflammation, as well as the bacteria, must be addressed.”

A new study published in JAMA Dermatology suggests a connection with consuming certain foods and adult acne. Observing nearly 25,000 adults (about 75 per cent of participants were women), a 24-hour dietary record was taken once every six months on a random basis. 

The results revealed that participants with acne consumed considerably more milk, sugary beverages, milk chocolate, snacks and fast foods, and fatty and sugary foods compared to those who had never had acne.

Whichever type of acne you suffer from, there are a number of cosmetic approaches you can take. The latest non invasive procedures recommended by aesthetic dermatologist Dr Harryono Judodihardjo from Belgravia Dermatology include red and blue light, Tixel (thermo mechanical ablative technology) to treat acne scars, and photodynamic therapy for severe acne – this, he cautions, requires considerable downtime.  

If your acne is mild to moderate, you may also like to invest in one of the innovative home use devices on the market, including the MZ Skin Light Therapy Treatment Mask, Lustre ClearSkin Solo and Foreo Espada Blue Light Acne Treatment. 

Along with prescription medication such as isotretinoin (Roaccutane), oral antibiotics, some types of contraceptive pill and benzoyl peroxide, topical products containing retinol, and azelaic, glycolic and salicylic acids can also be beneficial.