Skin Clinic with Dr Ross Perry
Cosmedics Skin Clinics’ founder and Medical Director Dr Ross Perry appeared on ITV’s This Morning with Holly and Phil to discuss the troubling skin condition acne.
They started off by discussing the causes of acne. Ross explained:
“Predominantly it’s down to hormonal changes, that’s why you often see it in adolescents, puberty – and people often tend to get it before their period – and it’s those changes in hormones that tend to create a buildup of grease on the skin and it also causes an increase in the bacteria on the skin as well. Those tend to then culminate in sort of a spot which then becomes more of a boil and that’s acne.”
He added that genetics is also a factor, so if your parents had acne you are more likely to suffer too. With regard to lifestyle and the influence of diet, smoking, stress, sleep, alcohol consumption or pollution – Ross says:
“It can have some impact but it’s not the predominant overriding factor. Pollution, cosmetics, those sorts of things; people think that they’re going to clog up the pores. They do have some effect, but they will only make – if you’ve got an underriding acne problem – worse.”
Types of acne
Dr Ross breaks acne spots down into three common types.
- Papules: Small red lumps spots which won’t leave too many marks afterwards
- Pustules: Larger spots with white on the top which can take longer to settle down
- Cystic acne: Big thick lumps under the skin which can be painful, swollen and irritating This is the most debilitating and can leave severe scars
Ross says that risk of scarring is the biggest concern in treating acne
“…we don’t want them to end up with life-long scarring.”
Acne Treatments By Age Group
Ross explained that treatment approaches do vary depending on the patient’s age and the severity of symptoms. So for children, a more cautious approach is advocated:
“You don’t want to expose them to antibiotics, purely because of the risk of resistance. So you have to try more topical based treatments with children first, in the knowledge that you know that they’re probably going to grow out of it anyway.”
Ross showed some
- Skin washes – simple and basic products available on the high street or supermarket which are ‘not to dry and not to stringent’. He explained that many people use products or washing techniques that are too harsh and actually serve to irritate the acne and make it worse. Especially if the patient then applies heavy moisturiser to combat dryness.
- Retinol – products that are applied overnight and help to reduce pore-clogging and increase cell turnover so that the skin gets rid of dead cells. Again, these products are available off the shelf
- Pharmacy creams – Dermol and Acnecide were shown as examples of products available from the pharmacist. No prescription is required, but they are held behind the counter. Benzoyl peroxide and similar products work well to dry out the skin to reduce grease and sebum
Dr Perry suggested that patients try the above before seeing a GP. He explained:
“Acne is not curable, it’s one of these conditions that you just manage the symptoms.
“Symptoms will fluctuate depending on lifestyle and so forth, but ultimately if you start with this and this fails – and you need to give it a go that’s the other thing, people are very impatient with acne, they want their spots gone immediately – it’s distressing…”
“…try it. It takes 4-6 weeks even with prescription medication just to calm things down, so just give these a go.”
Doctors & Specialists
Dr Perry explained:
“The first port of call would be your GP. They would obviously then look at you, see and assess what degree of acne you’ve got. As I mentioned, the mainstay is not getting scarring, so you’ll probably start with prescription-based antibiotic creams, some vitamin A creams and again, these just help reduce the grease on the skin, reduce the bacteria in the hope that’ll calm all of that down.
“You’ve then got oral antibiotics and those work in two ways really; reducing the bacterial load on the skin, but also they help reduce the inflammation, so there’s 2 reasons for taking those.”
Holly asked about whether IPL and laser would help either with treatment or scarring afterwards. Ross commented:
“Those are good at calming the symptoms, so they will help with the bacteria. So blue light is very good for the bacteria, red light is very good for the inflammation. But they’re not commonly available on the NHS and they only work while you’re having them, so again it’s about maintenance.”
Watch Dr Ross Perry on This Morning:
The feature is also available to view on ITV hub for the next week only at: https://www.itv.com/hub/this-morning/ (registration required).
Comments on Facebook
This Morning’s post prior to the feature has had extensive interest – see below:
Dr Ross Perry
Dr Ross Perry regularly provides expert comment and advises the media on a range of skincare and health-related issues.
He has particular expertise in skin surgery mole removal and melanoma; having removed thousands of moles in his career, both within the NHS and privately through Cosmedics Skin Clinics. He has provided expert advice on sun damage and sun protection for a variety of UK media and publications.
He also comments on the latest cosmetic and anti-ageing treatment methods.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics
Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors. The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and anti-wrinkle injections/fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.
Cosmedics Skin Clinics was has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.
Call 020 7386 0464 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment.