Why book here for acne treatment?
Acne is really common in teenagers and people in their early 20s – in fact, 8 in 10 teenagers have acne. Sebum – a greasy substance that lubricates your skin – is produced by glands in your hair follicles. These can get blocked, inflamed and infected.
Some treatments for acne are available without prescription. The treatments you can get with this service are usually only available with a prescription, and may be effective if other treatments have not worked.
What am I booking?
This is a private (paid for) service from your Pharmacist for treatment for acne which is not severe but has not responded to treatment with benzoyl peroxide used for at least six weeks.
Is this service right for me?
This service is suitable for people aged 12 years or older. It is not suitable for you if:
• You are pregnant or breastfeeding; or
• There is any chance you could become pregnant while using treatment.
This treatment may not be suitable for you if you:
• Have had skin cancer; or
• Have had an allergic reaction to azelaic acid or similar creams; or
• Have had an allergic reaction to clindamycin or tretinoin in the past; or
• Have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis; or
• Have eczema or rosacea. If any of these apply to you, please contact your Pharmacist before booking this service.
About acne treatment
Different treatments, or treatment combinations, work for different people. Depending on the kind of acne you have, you may want a treatment that kills germs (bacteria) and/or reduces inflammation and/or helps to unplug blocked pores.
Benzoyl peroxide treatment is available without prescription and has all three actions. However, it does not work for everyone and commonly causes mild skin irritation.
Other options include:
• Retinoid creams – these are good at unplugging blocked pores and have some effect on reducing inflammation.
• Topical or oral antibiotics – these reduce the number of bacteria and reduce inflammation but have little effect on unplugging blocked pores.
• Azelaic acid cream, which works by unplugging blocked pores. That means it is good at clearing blackheads and whiteheads and has some effect on reducing inflamed acne. It may cause less irritation than benzoyl peroxide.
Options available at different pharmacies, which may be available depending on your personal circumstances, include:
• Azelaic acid cream.
• Retinoid cream.
• A combination of topical antibiotic and a retinoid.
The combined contraceptive pill may help some women. Isotretinoin tablets are very effective but can have severe side effects and are only available from skin specialist doctors for severe acne.
How much will it cost?
The price you will be quoted is for your consultation and a 30 g tube of cream, which should treat your whole face for about one month. The actual price you are charged may be higher if you and your Pharmacist agree that a slightly different treatment (a different drug or formulation) is most appropriate following consultation.
Is this service available on the NHS?
This treatment may be available from your GP on the NHS.