Acne is a miserable condition which afflicts huge numbers of teenagers as they undergo hormonal changes. However the problem can also affect adults at various times, causing embarrassment and discomfort together with the potential for lasting scar damage.

The common advice for sufferers was to avoid fatty or sugary foods and drinks and keep skin scrupulously clean, but research has now proven this advice to be relatively worthless. Acne is caused by a build-up of sebum which blocks the pores of the skin leading to the familiar reddening and angry spots. It is usually caused by erratic levels of hormones which can affect both men and women at various stages in their lives.

In its mildest form acne is known as comedonal acne, which usually manifests across the forehead, nose and chin. When the spots become inflamed beneath the surface of the skin the condition is known as inflammatory acne, whilst cystic acne is the most aggressive form of the condition, leading to inflamed and angry skin prone to scarring.

The mildest forms of comedonal acne can often be treated through the use of topical gels and creams which are often prescribed in conjunction with oral antibiotics which help to clear the underlying inflammation under the skin?s surface. Since teenagers are commonly prone to this condition due to their bodies undergoing hormonal changes, these medications are often all that is required to clear up an outbreak.

Where the condition persists, or in the case of more severe skin inflammation, oral contraceptives can be prescribed for women. This provides the body with a balanced dose of hormones which can be all that is required to damp down the skin’s response to excess oil production, but the treatment is not always effective, or even desirable, and is of little use to men who suffer from this distressing condition. Moreover it can take several months for the effects of the treatment to become apparent.

Roaccutane is often considered an acceptable form of treatment for more severe cases. Also known as Isotretinoin this drug is not for the faint-hearted as side effects can be severe. Scarring is almost certain to occur and patients must avoid pregnancy and be aware of the increased risk of severe risk of depression that can result from this treatment. Aside from the risks of developing a variety of undesirable side effects the drug also inevitably causes scarring due to its interference with the body’s ability to heal correctly.

New breakthroughs in science have now lead to an alternative treatment to drug-based therapies. Laser light therapy directs intense bursts of light deep into the skin’s structure which promotes healing at a very deep level. Used in conjunction with high-quality medical grade skin care preparations such as Obagi, which uses prescription ingredients, these products take effect beneath the skin’s surface, promoting rapid healing and a reduction in scar tissue.

Unlike most other forms of acne treatment, there are no undesirable systemic effects with laser therapy and results can be seen quickly, providing valuable relief for sufferers.