Acne Dermatologist2019-06-11T09:46:18+00:00

Feel in charge of your skin

PERSONALISED DERMATOLOGY TREATMENT PLANS

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Acne can be an emotionally debilitating condition among teenagers and young adults

IN THESE VIDEOS, I EXPLAIN ACNE SYMPTOMS, ACNE CAUSES AND ACNE TREATMENT

In the videos above, I explain things in a simple way that applies to most people who have acne. Of course, no video or website can replace the value of a personalised consultation. At your consultation, you can have your skin carefully examined and get an expert recommendation to help you resolve your acne.

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Treatment enables people of all ages take control of their skin condition and get their life back

CALL 0118 373 5198
BOOK A CONSULTATION

How does acne affect people on a day-by-day basis?

THE DISCOMFORT AND EMBARRASSMENT ARISING FROM ACNE CAN LEAD TO LOW MOOD AND SOCIAL ISOLATION

Spots and pimples on your skin

You might have blackheads and whiteheads on your face, chest, shoulders and back. You may also have red, painful bumps and pustules. Acne can appear as cysts and nodules which leave red marks and scars.

Acne can cause significant emotional distress

You may believe this is a normal part of growing up, yet somehow, not everyone gets it. If you have acne, you feel self-conscious and less attractive. These feelings often lead to social isolation and withdrawal.

Living with acne can be hard

It’s not easy being a teenager. Stressors range from depression, bullying, academic problems, to peer pressure. On top of all that, your acne just seems to make everything worse. From the moment you look in the mirror, you focus on your spots. Washing, cleansing, and makeup doesn’t hide it. From moment to moment, every social interaction carries with it a sense of self-consciousness that can border on obsessive.

Acne can sap your social confidence

When you meet new people, are they focusing on your spots? Does your acne change how attractive you are or how popular you might be? These negative self-perceptions can lead to low mood and depression, which serves to minimise your self-esteem.

What’s life like without acne?

How much better would you feel if you didn’t have to worry about acne? Shouldn’t we all have the opportunity to look our best and be free from spots and pimples? Well, with modern treatments, you can be free from acne.

What my patients love about my service

MY PATIENTS ARE MY BEST PROMOTERS

Please pass on my thanks to Dr Pratsou for her assessment on my continued taking of roaccutane.

She was completely right, I didn’t need a new course, I needed to move away from the drug. The creams she gave me and Cetaphil recommendation have meant my skin has been the best it’s ever been (ongoing and since I saw her) ALL SUMMER :))))) I’ve had zero problems…and I’m loving it.

Thank you once again.


Phillip, Acne

“Dear Dr Pratsou,

Following the consultation today I feel it appropriate to say thank you for your help in dealing with my rosacea.

On each occasion, I have visited your department I have noticed the kindness and cheeriness of all the staff I have encountered and particularly wanted to say that you made me feel at ease with your calmness and excellent manner.

All is much appreciated.”


Anne, Rosacea

“Thank you very much!!

You three were (and are) a great team!

I will remember you.

You made me feel comfortable.”


Ellie

“Tania,

Please pass to Dr Pratsou my thanks for her skilled work.

The wound is healing beautifully and now the stitches are out it looks as though it will be almost invisible once fully healed.”


Graham, Skin cancer removal

“Dear Dr Penelope, Rena & the team, (I can’t remember the nurse’s name who helped me during my 2 procedures at the Spire!)

I wanted to thank you for your support and help during a very difficult time. You guys do a wonderful job – and we are eternally grateful for your help.”


Clarissa, Skin cancer

“I would like to put on record how impressed I was with the operation you performed for the removal of the SCC on my neck. I cannot even see where the cut or the stitches were! I am indeed very grateful for the excellent work you do.”


Harry, Squamous Cell Carcinoma

“Dear Dr Pratsou,

I am very grateful to you for your diagnosis, recommended treatment and advice. Your letter to my GP sets out both the course of events, and your own analysis of probable condition and possible cause, clearly summarising our discussion.

I hope there will be no recurrence but I will certainly come back to you if there is.”


Ryan, Skin rash

“Dear Tania,

Please pass on my thanks to Dr Pratsou. I saw her this morning for a mole check. She was so lovely and reassuring. Please also thank the two nurses who assisted her during the mole removal procedure. I was very nervous, but they were very efficient, which meant I did not have too long to think about it, but most of all they were very kind. They kept me distracted and calm, which made a huge difference. Thank you also for your efficiency in both booking me in so quickly.”


James, Mole removal
Dear Ms. Pratsou,

I am writing to thank you for the care you have given me in the past few months. From the moment I walked into your consulting room with a lesion on my cheek, a lesion that I fully expected to be some sort of skin cancer (and it was), you have been thorough, reassuring, respectful and in every way professional.

You recognised that I had some insight into the condition of my skin and the procedures required to treat me. You listened to me. You projected expertise and compassion.

During the procedure to remove the growth you ensured that the atmosphere in the treatment room remained not only calm, but actually pleasant. Had it not been that you were excising a growth and sewing me up, I almost felt as if you, me and the nurse were at some sort of women’s discussion group. The time flew by. I had zero anxieties about the procedure and as we both know now, the wound healed flawlessly.

Thank you for your expertise and your communication skills and all round good nature. I feel very lucky.


Karen Tatom, Skin cancer removal

We have replaced the images and names of real patients who provided these testimonials to protect their privacy.

The first step to feeling in charge of your skin is to book an initial consultation

FIND OUT HOW TO GET THE SKIN YOU WANT

CALL 0118 373 5198
BOOK A CONSULTATION

How it works

FEEL IN CHARGE OF YOUR SKIN IN 3 EASY STEPS

STEP 1 – CALL US
STEP 2 – LET’S MEET
STEP 3 – RESOLUTION
CONTACT MY STAFF

Give us a call on 0118 373 5198 and we’ll help guide you towards a first appointment.

MEET WITH ME

I’ll see you and examine your skin before I recommend treatment. In some cases, I can begin treating your condition on the same day.

FEEL IN CHARGE OF YOUR SKIN

I’ll guide you down the road towards a resolution of your skin condition so that you can get back to normal life.

More information about acne

FOR THOSE WHO WANT THE DETAILS

Overactive oil glands, attached to hair follicles, produce excess sebum that mixes with dead skin cells. The sebum clogs up the follicles and results in:

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Pimples
  • Nodules

Acne can cause scarring in some cases. Acne can affect the face, chest, shoulders and back.

Acne is highly prevalent in teenagers; many believe it to be a regular part of growing up. It can affect people of all ages and cause not only discomfort but also:

  • Emotional distress
  • Self-consciousness
  • Social isolation

Acne arises due to:

  1. Excessive oil (sebum) production from sebaceous glands that are attached to hair follicles
  2. Follicular occlusion – When the excess oil mixes with dead skin cells, it can cause plugging of the follicle and create whiteheads and blackheads
  3. Bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes) that usually sit on the skin contaminate and inflame the plugged follicles, resulting in papules, pustules, nodules and cysts
  4. Hormones, specifically androgen production, which can stimulate these processes.

Acne is genetic – it can run in families.

An acne examination in Berkshire involves me examining all affected areas, such as your

  • face
  • chest
  • shoulders and
  • back

I will assess the type of acne you have and the extent to which it affects your skin. This examination enables me to tailor your treatment to your specific needs.

Different treatments can address various aspects of acne.

Mild acne may respond to a prescribed skincare regime. A combination of topical treatments and a 3-6 month course of appropriate antibiotics, usually tetracyclines, may be all that’s needed to clear your skin.

In a proportion of cases, I recommend treatment with Isotretinoin (Roaccutane®) as it can address all aspects of the problem and switch off acne for good.

“Will I have to stay on acne treatment long term?”

No, I aim to cure your acne rather than keep it at bay.

Treatments vary, but you should only need to stay on an antibiotic for 3-6 months.

If these are not working for you, I will then review the situation and recommend an alternative.

A course of Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) lasts between 5-6 months.

“Will Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) work for my acne only as long as I take it?”

The purpose of Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) is to switch off your acne for good and not just work while you are taking it.

In a small number of cases, your acne can come back a few years after treatment, and you may need a second course of Isotretinoin (Roaccutane).

“Will the treatments cure my acne scarring?”

The treatments focus on clearing your acne. That will allow any red marks to fade with time.

Pitted scars can be hard to treat. Therefore the most important thing is to treat your acne as soon as possible to prevent further scarring.

“Could the cause of acne be something in my diet?”

There is ongoing research in this field, but current data is limited and, at this point, I do not recommend specific dietary changes or exclusions as a means of managing acne.

Typically, I recommend that my patients follow a healthy and balanced diet. I can discuss any specific concerns during your appointment.

Affiliations and memberships

I AM PROUD TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS

Questions and answers

RELEVANT AND INFORMATIVE VIDEOS AND ARTICLES

About the author

Dr Penelope Pratsou | Consultant Dermatologist

MBChB, MRCP (UK) (Dermatology)

I’m Dr Penelope Pratsou, a skilled independent Consultant Dermatologist based in Berkshire. I have specialist expertise in the diagnosis and management of all skin cancers, and in performing mole checks. I’m a trained skin surgeon and remove skin cancers, moles, skin tags, cysts and warts.

I also have invaluable experience in dealing with all skin conditions, from the common skin complaints of acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, to the rarer and more complex skin problems, having seen it all through years of NHS work.

After I obtained my Membership to the Royal College of Physicians, I undertook rigorous specialist training in dermatology, before being appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading. There, I helped set up and lead a busy clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of suspected skin cancer. I was also actively involved in supervising and training both dermatology and GP trainees.

Alongside my increasingly busy private practice, I have maintained an NHS practice in Oxford in order to continue to engage with challenging cases and to develop my specialist interest in skin allergy.

Learn more about me

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