Call us: Mon-Fri 8:30AM-6PM, Sat 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun 9AM-2PM 0800 031 8386
Call us: Mon-Fri 8:30AM-6PM, Sat 9:30am-4:30pm, Sun 9AM-2PM 0800 031 8386
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About skincare treatments

We offer two types of treatment to address hyperpigmentation and age and sun-related skin damage concerns: retinoids and azelaic acid. The treatments come in cream and gel form. If suitable, we’ll help you find the right treatment for you.

Interested in prescription skin treatment?

Clinical review within 2–24 hours

How do the treatments work?

Retinoids are vitamin A treatments which work by promoting skin cell turnover. They help to exfoliate the skin surface and unclog pores, and can also help to reduce pigmentation. They also stimulate collagen production, which can help with skin texture and acne scarring.

Azelaic acid helps to unclog pores, exfoliate skin and reduce pigmentation. It’s anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and an antioxidant, which helps to prevent collagen breakdown and minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Overall it promotes a healthy skin environment, which can help tackle uneven tone and texture.

How do I use the treatments?

Once you are used to using them, the cream or gel should ideally be applied daily. Depending on which one you’re prescribed, you might need to apply them twice a day. You should apply a thin layer to clean, dry skin. You can use a moisturiser while using any of the treatments, either before or after applying the treatment. Allow enough time for skin to dry between applications of the treatment and moisturiser.

What are the side effects?

Side effects for the gels and creams can include dry, irritated or itchy skin. They might cause a burning sensation when you apply them. Some patients may also experience redness or peeling. Using a moisturiser should help with these effects.

Retinoids can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight during treatment, so be sure to use sunscreen in direct sunlight.

For the full information on a medicine’s side effects and how to take it, it’s important to read the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medicine.

How quickly do retinoid and azelaic acid treatments work?

These treatments are all intended to help with fine lines, texture, hyperpigmentation and other skin ageing concerns. But it may take some time for them to work – you should see improvements in your skin within 3-6 months of starting treatment with retinoids or azelaic acid. If we prescribe treatment, our clinicians will be in touch after eight weeks to check that the medicine is working for you.

Important safety information

It’s important you tell us which other medicines you’re taking – whether prescription or medicines you’ve bought without a prescription. You must also tell us of any other conditions you live with. We need to know so that we can prescribe a suitable treatment for you.

What if I’m pregnant?

You must not use retinoid treatments if you’re pregnant or trying to have a baby. Azelaic acid treatments are safe to use during pregnancy. If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you tell us during your consultation.

What are my options if I don’t get treatment?

Skin concerns like acne scarring, fine lines and hyperpigmentation aren’t usually harmful. If we can’t prescribe treatment, we’ll give you some advice for things you can do to help improve your skin.

Skin concerns can affect your mood and self-confidence. If you’re experiencing this, please talk to your GP.

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Last reviewed on: 27/03/2024