by Dr Renatta Murakami - Acne, All posts, Skin - 28/09/201814/11/2018 Acne: Optimising your treatment How can you maximise the effectiveness of your prescription acne treatments? Dr Murakami advises on how to get the best out of your acne treatments with The Doctor Service.co.uk. Acne is a very common skin condition with 41% of 15-24 year olds and over 21% of 25-44 year olds with acne… Doctors including dermatologists know that letting acne runs its course is not always the best advice. This is because acne can lead to dark spots and permanent scars can be left once the acne clears. Furthermore, treating acne may boost a person’s self esteem. There is no need to suffer with acne now, or with the after-effects of acne especially with so many effective treatments available. Acne Formation The process of evolution from micro-comedones, the hallmark of acne, to inflammatory papulo-pustules (whiteheads) takes about 10-12 weeks, therefore treatment times should last for a minimum of 10-12 weeks. Treatments tend to be most effective after 12 weeks. There are some important things to know to ensure that you get the best results from your treatments for acne, which we have summarised below for you. Skin Irritation Starting treatment for acne can cause skin irritation, and this is a common side effect. So if this occurs to you, you shouldn’t stop the treatment unless this is a severe reaction. If you are concerned about the level of reaction and not sure whether to stop the treatment then we recommend you seek further advice. The optimal skin-care regime We recommend the following skin-care regime: – Gently wash your face twice a day with a mild soap. Soap should be applied with bare hands, warm water, and a gentle circular motion with finger tips only. Follow with a gentle rinse with warm water. Try to avoid face cloths or towels when drying your face. – Pat the face dry or blot dry with a clean terrycloth towel, preferably laundered in an enzyme-free detergent and exposed to dryer sheets, or fabric softeners. – The amount of topical product to be applied should be no more than 2 finger tips for the face, otherwise any skin irritation could be more intense. – Start topical treatment on alternate nights on the first week of treatment or until irritation settles, then use every night. – Mild redness, irritation and peeling during treatment are common. – Creams should be use over all the face, and not just isolated lesions, as they have a preventative action too. – If you pick, pop or squeeze your acne, your skin will take longer to clear and you increase the risk of getting acne scars. – If using cosmetics, try to stick to light water-based ones. – Remove makeup before bed, to prevent it clogging pores. – Clean cosmetic brushes regularly to remove contaminated makeup. – There is some evidence that high glycaemic index foods and dairy products may possibly be linked to acne, so try to avoid them. Do you need treatment for acne? Visit TheDoctorService.co.uk for further information on treatments available. Dr Murakami is a highly regarded consultant dermatologist with a private clinic in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has brought her skills to London, UK where she plans to work in the NHS and Privately.