Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any contraindications for ACP?
There are very few contraindications and these will be discussed during your free consultation. If you have cancer, a heart disorder, epilepsy or diabetes, you are likely to be asked to obtain permission from your GP prior to treatment. You will not be treated if you have keloid scarring.
I am pregnant, can I be treated?
Although pregnancy is not a specific contraindication, some skin disorders
are linked to hormonal changes during pregnancy and these may resolve
following the birth. You may be advised to wait to see if this occurs.
Is local anaesthetic used?
The discomfort level is generally so low that local anaesthetic is unnecessary.
Those who are concerned, or who know they have a very low pain threshold, sometimes choose to take a painkiller (the sort they would take for a mild headache) about half an hour before their appointment. Others may wish to use a topical anaesthetic cream prior to treatment.
How long will it take?
Some individual blemishes can be safely and completely removed in just a few minutes. In the case of numerous blemishes, the treatment plan depends on a number of factors including the type of lesion and the individual's skin reaction. Though several lesions can be removed in a single appointment, an area of skin must not be over-treated. If a large number of blemishes within a small area are to be removed, a treatment plan, specific to the individual, will be discussed during the consultation.
Following removal, the treated area develops a scab (usually within the hour). The full healing time depends on the type and size of lesion removed and the individual's normal healing rate. Most people find that small blemishes are completely healed within a week whereas larger ones may take up to three weeks. Once the treated area has healed and the scab has fallen off, there is normally a small pink patch which fades to over time. This also depends on the individual and environmental factors and can be a week or two or (rarely) several months. This pink is easily covered with concealer if this is required.
If a lesion is to be removed prior to a specific event, such as a wedding, then you would be advised to allow a minimum of six weeks between treatment and the big day.
What size of lesion can be removed using this method?
Since this depends on several factors, most importantly the type of blemish, it is not possible to give a definitive answer on an FAQ page. During your initial consultation you will be advised if the lesion is not suitable for removal using ACP.
Will the blemishes return?
Treated blemishes do not return. However, in some cases, new ones may form depending on the underlying cause. You will be advised about methods of reducing the probability of this during the consultation.
Is ACP suitable for all skin colours?
Yes. However, there are differences between white, Asian and black skin which should be taken into account during treatment. These will be discussed with you during your initial consultation.
Some skin blemishes are more common in certain skin types and some may be more noticeable on dark skin than light, and vice versa. For example, spider naevi are less noticeable on dark skin whereas milia are often more obvious on black or Asian skin than on a person with very pale skin.
Dermatosis papulosa nigra (histologically identical to seborrhoeic keratosis) which affects dark skin, can be successfully treated using ACP. These blemishes are most commonly seen on the face but can occur on the neck and torso. Some can be pedunculated and these, along with pigmented skin tags, can be especially dark and disfiguring on black and Asian skin.
Can children be treated?
Under 16s can be treated with parental consent though, in some instances, the permission of a medical practitioner may be sought prior to treatment being carried out.
Some vascular blemishes may reduce or disappear as a child grows and the top layer of skin becomes thicker. However, if the child is distressed, particularly if s/he is being teased or bullied at school, treatment may be advisable for psychological reasons.
Teenagers particularly may find skin defects distressing and wish to have them removed. However, disorders arising from hormonal changes during puberty may resolve as they mature. In some cases, you may be advised to wait to see if this happens.