Looking After your Skin

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots or pimples to develop on the skin. The types of spots can include blackheads, whiteheads, pus-filled pustules and cysts. The sufferer will usually find these spots will develop primarily on the face, neck, chest and back. Acne is a common skin complaint and will affect most of us at some point in our lives, usually during puberty.

Acne occurs when your skin begins to produce too much sebum. Sebum is an oily substance produced naturally in the skin that stops it from drying out. When too much sebum is produced the excess mixes with dead skin cells and forms a plug. This plug blocks the tiny hair follicles found on the skin. These plugged follicles can produce black/whiteheads dependent on whether the follicle is open or closed to the skin. Open follicles will create blackheads and closed follicles will produce whiteheads. If these plugged follicles mix with the bacteria living on the skin, the contaminated follicle can become infected. This will cause papules, pustules, nodules or cysts to form.

Acne is usually triggered by changes in the body’s hormone levels. This is why acne is very prevalent amongst pubescent teenagers (around 80%) as the hormonal levels are in a constant state of flux. These hormonal fluctuations can result in the over-production of sebum, which is the main cause of acne. Other factors that can alter hormone levels and lead to acne include; menstruation, pregnancy and episodes of stress. It is also thought that acne runs in families, therefore of one or both of your parents suffered from acne then you are more likely to also experience it.

Acne is not caused by having a poor diet, being dirty or having poor hygiene, or sexual activity.

Skinoren cream

Skinoren 20% 30g Cream is a white opaque cream which contains the active ingredient Azelaic Acid. It is used to treat acne. It works by attacking the bacteria which plays an essential part in causing acne and it reduces the growth of the harder outermost skin cells that block the pores of the skin to cause blackheads and whiteheads. To read the patient information leaflet for this product click here.

What is Skinoren cream?

Skinoren cream is a preparation that is applied directly to the skin to treat acne. It can also be prescribed to treat rosacea.

How does it work?

The treatment contains azelaic acid, which works by removing the blockage from the skin pores, and it also has an anti-bacterial action.

How do I use it?

Skinoren cream is usually applied to the affected area twice a day, morning and evening, after the area has been washed and patted dry. For people with sensitive skin, it can be used just in the evening to start with, for a week, before starting to use it twice a day. The cream comes in a tube, and is applied to the skin with the fingertips. It should not be used by children under the age of 12.It should be used carefully on the face; avoid contact with the eyes and mouth. Creams that are applied to the skin in this way are particularly suitable for people who cannot take – or do not wish to take – an antibiotic by orally.

Skinoren cream can take around four weeks before you will see it working; and if necessary, it can be used for up to a year continuously. It should be used regularly for the best results. For acne that does not respond after a month of treatment, or rosacea that does not respond after two months of treatment, talk to your doctor as Skinoren may not be the best option for you.

Is it suitable for me?

There are some situations where Skinoren cream should be used with caution or would not be recommended, so complete the medical questionnaire carefully. It is not usually used at the same time as any other treatments for acne. If it doesn’t work for you, as above, talk to your doctor as a different treatment might be better.Tell the doctor if you are taking any other medicines, either from your doctor or purchased from a pharmacy. Skinoren Cream will not be suitable if you are allergic to azelaic acid – or any of the other ingredients.

What are the side effects?

Like all medicines, Skinoren cream can cause side effects, although not everybody will experience them.

Side effects that are considered to be common include a burning or itching sensation on the skin where Skinoren is applied, as well as skin dryness or redness. Less commonly, allergies or other skin reactions have been reported. Skin reactions generally improve as the course of treatment continues.

Service details

Price: Small charge

Frequency: When required…


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