St Michael’s Street, Shrewsbury SY1 2HE  
The Lodge, Farley Road, Much Wenlock TF13 6NB
01743 590019

Medical Conditions

Medical Concerns

Medical Treatments

Medical Concerns

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Acne Treatment

There are a number of treatments available for acne:

Topical treatments. These are applied directly to the skin. They may work by cleansing the skin to remove oil and unblock follicles, by suppressing inflammation, by killing bacteria or by suppressing sebaceous activity. Some products have more than one action. Topical treatments are usually the first choice for people with mild to moderate acne. They should be applied to the whole of the affected area and not just to the spots themselves.

Oral antibiotic treatment. Patients not responding to topical treatments alone may be prescribed antibiotic tablets. We generally recommend that these are taken in combination with suitable topical treatment. Oral antibiotics help the inflamed spots of acne but have no effect on uninflamed ones such as blackheads.

Isotretinoin. This treatment may be better known by the trade names Roaccutane®. This is a strong drug which acts directly on the sebaceous glands, reducing oil production, essentially turning off the acne fuel supply. It is by far the most effective and reliable treatment for severe forms of acne. Unfortunately, it has a number of potential and severe side effects. There has been much in the press recently highlighting its potential to cause depression. Additionally, isotretinoin can harm an unborn child and there are, therefore, very tight controls when prescribing isotretinoin to women of childbearing potential. Isotretinoin capsules can only be prescribed by a consultant dermatologist. Most courses of isotretinoin last for four months to six months.

The treatments detailed above are all commonly available to NHS patients, either from their general practitioner or from a hospital dermatology department. Treatments not generally provided or funded by the NHS include:

Microdermabrasion and Skin Peels. At Shropshire Skin Clinic the Agera Rx Medical product range are used for topical skin treatment between these clinic based treatments sessions.

Laser or Intense Pulsed Light. At Shropshire Skin Clinic we feel that these treatments should rarely be a first choice however we do treat some patients with intense pulsed light. Sometimes this will be combined with microdermabrasion and skin peels.

Photodynamic Therapy. We also use a special photosensitising cream before treating with Intense Pulsed Light. This process is called photodynamic therapy and seems to be more effective than intense pulsed light used on its own.

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