Acne

Reporter: Sophie Hull

It's the skin condition that can't be hidden because it's generally written all over the sufferers face. Acne plagues virtually every teenager in the country and often doesn't end in adolesence.

Acne is one of the most dreaded rites of passage for a teenager. Even worse when it lingers into adult hood. Until recently there was little that could be done - but now there's a baffling array of options from the very cheap to the very expensive.

"Omnilux has been a fantastic breakthrough because it's safe it's very efficient it doesn't just work on the acne it also helps reduce the oiliness that is the start of an acne condition." Mandy Gray from True Solutions recommends Omnilux blue light therapy - a ray of hope claiming to penetrate deep into the skin to kill the bacteria which causes acne.

"I'd read the brochures and I'm getting married in December so I wanted to get my skin ready for that and I thought it was worth a try and I'm really happy with the results." Lindsay Jaggers submitted to the powers of blue light therapy to bring her acne under control in the run up to her big day.

Make up Artist Victoria Barron was also really happy with the results of her course of Omnilux treatments. "After the first treatment I could feel my skin was a lot calmer and by the second treatment it was getting a lot better and just as the treatments went on it improved." But with any breakthrough treatment, there's a catch - it's not quick and it's not cheap. Each treatment, is around $80 and they take place weekly for a few months.

"Generally its a slow process it might take a person 6 - 9 months to really get the improvements they're looking for because you're actually trying to change a skin condition."

"I think a lot of people want those pimples gone long before four weeks so you can get many of the over the counter products that within 8 hours 50% of people will see an improvement in their pimples. You've got to have your skincare very tailored to your skin type not to that of a celebrity." Dermatologist Dr John Sullivan says if you're looking for a budget priced quick fix - your first port of call should be the pharmacy - you can find products with the same ingredients as star products like Proactiv but come at a far cheaper price.

"There are other products available over the counter now which are much more gentle such as salacylic acid which works in a similar sort of speed as things like Proactiv but are much better for people with sensitive skin or who are very sensitive to sunlight" adds Dr Sullivan. So with the right combination of treatments, the pimples are gone - but there's one last problem. Scarring. Well, now there's a new solution to that too.

"The thing with most people with acne scarring is that it's not the actual scars that worry them what they hate is the fact their skin's not smooth." Acne specialist Phillippa McCaffery dispenses her own wonder potion - Tretanone - a cream with concentrated Vitamin A for around $30 a tube and while it clears up most moderate acne cases, too often the aftermath is ugly scarring.

So Dr McCaffery is at the forefront of a new treatment called skin needling. There's nothing glamorous about this one. It basically involves making tiny cuts in the skin which triggers a natural healing response to repair the scars. You can even learn to do it yourself at home. "Skin needling is a treatment that's very affordable - we're looking at a few hundred dollars a treatment" adds Dr McCaffery.

But if you have a few thousand dollars to spend - there's the very hi tech answer to acne scarring which has been huge in the US. It's called Fraxel Laser.

For more information:

Omnilux: True Solutions

Website: http://www.true-solutions.com.au/