Black Hair and Beauty magazine
Severe skin conditions like acne need targeting action but how do you know what treatment to go for. These case studies provide an honest account and amazing results
What is acne?
Acne is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and large papules that commonly affect the face, upper part of the chest and back.
How can it be treated?
Lasers are typically used to treat acne, however when it comes to darker skin it is a lot more difficult to treat. The additional pigmentation means that there is a risk of burning and permanent scarring. Dr Puneet Gupta at The Private Clinic of Harley Street is one of the few specialists in the UK who is an expert in the treatment of acne on darker skin. He uses the Pixel Laser, a non-invasive treatment to treat acne, scarring and hyper pigmentation.
The Pixel Laser uses a high-energy beam of light that is directed onto damaged areas. The laser removes the epidermis and upper dermis on targeted zones, which then triggers the body’s natural healing process and stimulates the growth of healthy new skin. The treatment is suitable for all skin types, including darker skin tones leaving a more even and smooth complexion. It can also treat very small areas of skin, leaving the surrounding tissue untouched and undamaged. At least three treatments are recommended.
Elizabeth Lijoka, 31, from Edgware
‘Having spent hundreds of pounds on various products and treatments, I went to see Dr. Gupta who was my final hope. The treatment I had was the Pixel Laser. It has significantly improved the texture and pigment of my skin. My complexion is now a lot clearer. Having spent years feeling very low because of my appearance, I now feel amazing and I’m grateful to Dr. Gupta for making me feel beautiful inside and out.’
Easy Living Magazine
Imagine not being able to face the world because you’re so ashamed of your skin. Natalie Simonson, 36, tells us how it feels…
Everyone has a tip when it come s to acne. ‟Have you tried putting toothpaste on them?” is my favourite. I’m sorry, but that really doesn’t work.
My spots started with a vengeance when I was 20 – usually acne kicks in with Puberty, but I was told mine was hereditary (my father also suffered with it in his twenties). Doctors called it cycstic acne, which meant my skin repeatedly produced small cysts in the hair follicles that grow in to large boils and angry spots. It felt like an ambush : they came in all shapes and sizes, from enormous carbuncles to little pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and raw pustules. It wasn’t just on my face – they crept onto my back and bottom.
Make-up helped a little, but there was no hiding the lumps. I saw several GPs, but no one gave me practical advice. They kept pushing antibiotics, so I tried five or six types, but none of them worked and side effects made me sick. Then they thought it might be linked to hormone imbalances, so I was put on the Pill but, again, there was no improvement.
Self-conscious doesn’t even come close to describing how I felt. I didn’t look anyone in the eye; I kept my head down so that my hair fell across my face. I remember walking past a group of school children on one occasion and, amid a chorus of laughter, one boy shouted, ‟Look, she’s got cancer on her face!” They were only kids, but it was humiliating.
One GP kept suggesting Roaccutane; it reduces how much sebum your skin produces and at the time was considered ‘wonder drug’, but the side effects are horrific. By the time I was 26 I was so traumatised, I agreed to a course. It was possibly the worst six months of my life. Roaccutane is still considered an experimental drug, even though it’s been around for more than 25 years, and there was no avoiding the headlines about the many inquests that linked the drug to suicides. It felt like having a severe PMT everyday with chronic headaches and nausea. I was in this pit that I couldn’t mentally scramble out of and I had to have blood tests every month to monitor my liver function. And after all that, the Roaccutane didn’t make a blind bit of difference to my acne.
My skin had a huge impact on my career as a massage therapist. I cancelled appointments when it was raw. Greeting a new client would trigger my own internal commentary: ‟Have they noticed? Are they looking?” And then I would see their gaze flick from my eyes down to my skin. It stopped my from pursuing a qualification in head massage because I couldn’t bear anyone on the course coming near my face to practise.
My social life suffered terribly. I pulled out of dates at the last minute, cancelled my 29th-birthday celebrations with 12 hours’ notice, wasted theatre tickets and couldn’t accept an offer to sing at my friend’s wedding. Life hardly seemed worth living. But, as much as I felt exposed, it never affected my relationships with men. I cancelled a lot of dates, but when I did have boyfriends, they weren’t bothered by it. I was the one with issues. I wouldn’t like them touching my face and it took me a long time to feel comfortable naked. The whole world could have told me I looked great, but I didn’t agree. There was no one in the public eye who suffered from acne as extreme as mine, I’d see magazine pictures of Cameron Diaz with ‘bad skin’ captions. ‟Really?” I’d think it’s not that bad, trust me.”
It’s hard to convey how much pain I was in- even a breeze would make the spots hurt. They would sting, like dozens of insect bites, then constantly throb, throb, throb until one of the boils opened and spilled out the infection, and the pain subsided.
I soon became a skincare product pro: Kiehl’s, Dermalogica and Dr. Sebagh do effective acne ranges, and I could always count on good old sudocrem for a calming fix. I dabbled with other brands of contraceptive pill, sunbeds to dry the spots out, a bacteria-killing laser; I saw a herbal nutritionist, switched to a vegan diet and went for regular colonic irrigations.
By the time I was 31, my spots had started to calm down, and, thankfully I’d seen my last boil. However, I had hundred of scars- many from where I had picked at the spots – and they were never going to fade of their own accord. I’d heard of new laser treatments for scarring, so I searched on Google and came across The Private Clinic. If it could reduce my scarring, even by 20 per cent, that would be something.
After my first Pixel Laser Treatment I saw an improvement: my skin was clearer and smoother, and I had a more even skin tone. After seven treatments, I moved on to Pearl Laser Skin Resurfacing to tackle the deeper scars. It was uncomfortable but not excruciating. I’d stay at my parents for few days after each session while my skin settled. The treatments essentially burn off a layer of skin, so it’s not a pretty sight when it swells, dries out and sheds, but afterwards you’re left with rejuvenated glow. Over the course of two years I had eight treatments on my face and six on my body. It was expensive, at £2,500, but worth every penny. For my pothole scars, I had skin grafts taken from behind my ears. I’ll never forget my mum welling up when she could see my skin starting to heal.
It made wearing make-up easier, too, since my skin’s surface was smoother. The clinic recommended a foundation called Lycogel – it’s specifically for patients to use after cosmetic surgery and I’ve since carried on buying it. It gives me coverage without suffocating my skin or without making it oily. The pictures you see of me today are a breakthrough. I have no make-up on, except for mascara, brow pencil and lip gloss – and that would have never been possible before. I still have some scars and I’m proactive in preserving my complexion. I take a multivitamin and L-Carnitine, which helps my skin cells works more efficiently.
If I could go back in time to my 20-year-old self, I’d say, ‟It will get better. You are not alone. There is a help out there, but first you have to learn how to live with yourself.”It’s changed my perception of vanity, too: if anyone was to comment on my looks, I’d think, ‟Shut up.” I don’t need to answer to anyone, because my confidence and happiness are totally impenetrable now. If you were to ever meet anyone with acne, here’s some advice: don’t look anywhere else but their eyes. Don’t judge what’s on the outside. And, please, don’t mention toothpaste.
Adult acne- now what?
There’s no fix-all cure for acne as yet, but this solution stand up to expert scrutiny:
- Nlite is a bacteria zapping laser which, professor of dermatology Tony Chu says, ‟targets the bacteria, reduces inflammation and stimulates collagen production.”
Natalie was treated by Dr. Puneet Gupta at The Private Clinic of Harley Street.
Source: easyliving.co.uk – November 2012
100% HA (Hyaluronic Acid) solution treats skin laxity restoring the firmness. As Seen on TV show: 10 years younger in 10 days
trust pilot to go here
What's on this page
Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Advisory Committee for The Private Clinic.
Last Reviewed May 18th 2021
Scars caused by surgery or traumatic injury are usually permanent and can cause a great deal of embarrassment, with some people going to great lengths to cover them up.
Scars are unique to the individual and circumstance in which they are formed – they are technically the body’s natural way of healing from an injury. The good news is we offer a number of treatments here at The Private Clinic which can dramatically improve the appearance of scars.
The type of scar revision treatment you opt for will depend on the size, location and character of your scar. It will also depend on your reasons for having treatment in the first place, such as if the scar is causing you distress because of its appearance or causing you an actual physical problem.
We offer three main treatments:
Steroid treatment: This involves injecting a steroid called triamconolone into the scar. It is usually used in the treatment of keloid scars and after 4 to 6 sessions should produce excellent results. The keloids become flat, while the colour matches that of the surrounding skin.
Laser skin resurfacing: The revolutionary Pixel Laser is particularly effective in the treatment of acne scarring and pitted scars. This laser therapy uses heat to remove the very top layer of your skin, stimulating the growth of healthy new skin.
Surgical scar excision: This technique is used to reposition or reduce the size of the scar. The techniques we use include:
- Excision and direct skin closure involves cutting the scar out and then is drawing and stitching the surrounding skin together to form a new, neater scar.
- Excision and repositioning involves cutting the scar out and changing the direction so that it runs along a natural, relaxed skin tension line.
- Excision and skin grafting involves cutting out the scar and replacing it with a skin graft from a healthy part of the body. Skin grafts can be partial or full thickness.
There is no downtime with Pixel laser or steroid treatment, however you may need to rest up for a day or two after surgical scar excision.
as seen in
What to Expect
The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 35 years with thousands of people placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.
Liposuction is suitable for fat removal of many areas of the body including;
- Buttocks crease
- Abdomen/ stomach
- Upper Arms
Liposuction or traditional liposuction is a surgical procedure used to remove excess fat through the use of a device called a cannula which is then attached to a liposuction machine. The cannula is inserted into the fat layer the skin where it removes the unwanted fatty deposits creating a smoother, slimmer and more contoured appearance to the areas being treated. We also offer a range of different liposuction techniques at The Private Clinic including: Vaser Liposuction Vaser lipo is a procedure performed under local anaesthetic with sedation. A small probe is used to transmit the ultrasound energy and liquefy fat cells prior to removal through a gentle suction process. Vaser Hi-Def Vaser Hi-Def liposuction is an advanced body sculpting technique that creates a more athletic and sculpted appearance. The procedure involves the removal of both superficial and deep fat that surrounds the muscle groups to enhance the visibility of underlying toning and musculature. Vaser Mid-Def Vaser Mid-Def liposuction is a specific technique that is halfway between Vaser Hi-Def and standard Vaser Lipo. The results are a slight increase in definition and shadowing but with a much softer appearance. Vaser 4D Vaser 4D liposuction is a more advanced form of vaser liposuction that works to improve the overall proportion of your body by removing fat and defining your underlying muscles. Vaser 360 Vaser 360 liposuction is a specific technique used on paitents seeking fat reduction in the lower body. The treatment targets the buttock crease, thighs, upper legs and knees for a full circumferential toned and firmer appearance to the legs. Find out more about our wide range of fat reduction treatments here.
Liposuction is usually carried out under general anaesthetic although other types of anaesthesia could be requested if appropriate. Your cosmetic surgeon will mark the areas on your body where fat is going to be removed and these areas are then injected with a solution containing anaesthetic and medication, to reduce blood loss, bruising and swelling. The fat cells are then broken up using high-frequency vibrations, a weak laser pulse or a high pressure water jet. Each surgeon has different liposuction techniques and preferences but this will be discussed with you at your consultation. Small incisions are then made in the areas being treated and a suction tube attached to a vacuum machine is inserted. The surgeon will move the suction tube back and forth to help loosen fat in the areas being treated and suck it out. The areas are then bandaged up and a drain may be inserted to help with excess fluid in the initial couple of days post-procedure. You will then be fitted into a support garment to help reduce swelling and returned to a recovery room to recover from the anaesthetic. Vaser Liposuction is a great alternative for patients who are worried about the general anaesthetic involved in surgical liposuction. Vaser lipo procedures are performed under local anaesthetic with sedation. The procedure involves using a small probe to transmit ultrasound energy and liquefy fat cells prior to removal through a gentle suction process. The procedure is a lot less invasive meaning the downtime is minimal and the risk of bruising is reduced.
In most instances, surgical liposuction takes place under general anaesthetic. You will be gently put to sleep to ensure comfort throughout the procedure. In some cases liposuction can be carried out under local anaesthetic but this is usually for smaller cases. The type of anaesthesia used can be discussed with your surgeon at your consultation.
Patients who have stubborn areas of fat that cannot be reduced with diet or exercise are the best candidates for surgical liposuction. Liposuction is not a method of weight loss and you should be as close to your ideal weight as possible before the procedure. If you are unsure give us a call to discuss the areas you are interested in treating. To find out if you are suitable for liposuction you will need to come in for a consultation with one of our surgeons who will be able to assess you and go through your medical history.
Outstanding care, patient satisfaction and results mean everything to The Private Clinic Team
Read about our patients’ experiences to see what you can expect from our award-winning procedures.
MicroLipo & Breast Fat Transfer – Fat from inner thighs transferred to breasts “I absolutely love my legs. I never thought they could look this good. The breasts, to me, have improved 100% (I was not after large volume but better shape and fuller nipples after breastfeeding 2 kids).” I...
VASER Lipo – Abdomen, Waist, Hips, Inner & Outer Thighs, Saddle Bags and Chin “It gave me the boost I needed to get back into exercise and I’m happy with how I look in my bikini now. Regrets? No way.” Kyla’s story will be familiar to many. She was a...
Fat Transfer to the Buttocks “It’s changed my life in so many ways, i’m like a different person. It just keeps getting better and i only wish i’d done it sooner” Watch a video of Kasia’s procedure > For as long as she can remember, Kasia was unhappy with her...
Why Choose The Private Clinic
Meet our Medical Experts
We are the UK’s leading non-invasive cosmetic group and have some of the most experienced doctors and surgeons in the country working with us, including top Consultant Dermatologists in London. Many cosmetic clinics are unable to treat patients with darker skin due to the specific skills required and the difficulty of achieving the desired results. However our doctors have successfully treated hundreds of patients and have the experience needed to deliver excellent results every time.
We are able to offer medical assessment as well as treatment in our state-of-the-art minor surgery rooms at local clinics across the country.
Mr Philip Lim
BSc, MB ChB, AFRCS (Ed), MRCS (Eng), FRCS (Plast)
GMC Number: 4219068