What is A.C.P?
A.C.P is a form of electrolysis used to removed lesions and blemishes. Electrolysis uses short-wave diathermy to target precisely the lesion and cut off its blood supply to safely remove it with little or no damage to the skin.
If you are on this page, you will probably have been informed by your GP that the NHS is now not offering any treatments considered cosmetic (ie. they do not constitute a hazard to health). However, if you think you have an undiagnosed dermatological condition, you are recommended to seek a medical professional for advice first. But if you are generally healthy there are few medical reasons* why clients should not undergo this treatment.
*Although there is no evidence that ACP is potentially harmful to pregnant women, or the fetus, it would be advised for you to wait until your baby is born before undergoing any treatment.
HOW IS IT DONE?
An numbing cream can be applied to the area to be treated to reduce discomfort and a probe (small needle) is placed on or within the skin abnormality to remove and/or reduce the blemish.
Details for individual conditions are below.
Normally it is not necessary to have repeat treatments once an abnormality has been treated, but a course of ACP can be recommended for telangiectasia (thread veins) so that treatments can be spaced out to prevent skin damage or hyper-pigmentation. Some conditions can be quite resilient and more than one treatment may be necessary. Appointments are charged on a time basis (either 15 or 30 minutes) and the amount of treatment time that may be required for different areas is extremely variable depending on the blemish being treated and the number requested for removal. One large sebhorreic keratosis might take 30 minutes, whereas it might be possible to treat a number of skin tags in half that time.
When booking, please do not underestimate the time needed to complete consultation, photos and treatment and advice on aftercare.
What skin problems can Advanced Cosmetic Procedures treat?
Telangiectasia (Thread Veins)
These aren’t ‘broken capillaries’ as people call them, but permanently dilated capillaries. The thin, singular cell wall structure of the fine facial capillaries expand and contract to control body temperature. Eventually their elasticity weakens and they can become permanently dilated. They often look more obvious because of the breakdown of the skin’s supporting network of collagen and elastin and ageing, thinning skin.
Causes of telangiectasia are: ageing, hereditary, pregnancy, hormones, skin fragility, smoking, extreme sports, temperature extremes and harsh weather exposure.
Sometimes telangectasia and ROSACEA will appear together. Reducing the appearance of the blood vessels using electrolysis may initially trigger a rosacea attack. However this is relatively rare and only a temporary consequence of the long-term positive results.
Campbell de Morgan Spots
These vascular blemishes are also known as Cherry Angioma or Blood Spots. They look slightly raised or dome shaped and there isn’t a specific reason for their appearance. They’re mostly seen on the body of middle aged and elderly clients. Small ones can disappear at time of treatment.
Spider Naevus is a central dilated blood vessel, with smaller capillaries radiating from it like the legs of a spider. They can, if apparent in isolation, be a result of a trauma to the skin, for example a child bumping into an object. Some conditions can make them worse such as extreme heat and cold, obesity, pregnancy, stress or pressure on the area. Several spider naevus appearing spontaneously is a cause for concern as it might indicate liver disease. They can be quite resilient and more than one treatment may be necessary.
Skin Tags are a common skin condition found in areas of friction such as the armpits, under the breasts, groin or around the neck where necklaces or collars might rub.They’re found on their own or in groups and are often pigmented making them more obvious. They vary in size from a tiny speck, to the size of a large pea or larger. They are viral in nature (Human Papilloma Virus HPV) and although they’re not infectious to other people, they can rapidly multiply with some people suffering from hundreds of them. Skin Tags are very easily treated whether they are tiny ones between the eyelashes or large ones under the arms. ACP is probably the quickest, easiest way of removing the problem in a safe and effective manner.
Lying just under the skin’s surface, milia are small white plugs of oil which show as hard, solid lumps. Their exact cause is unknown although they are often related to too rich moisturising cream and are also associated with dry skin which can be acidic. They can all be treated easily with advanced electrolysis techniques using diathermy (AC) which gently dries them up. This is a much gentler than with a microlance, which can damage the skin.
There are various types of warts, including flat (plane) raised (common) and verrucas (plantar – on the feet). They are benign epidermal tumours which are contagious (human papilloma virus) and all can be treated. Warts can develop individually or in clusters and can spontaneously disappear.
These are included within the wart family but these differ in the fact that they are not contagious. They present as raised and appear frequently as several lesions on covered body sites and are also quite common on the face in older people. They are usually brown because of melanin and so can be mistaken for moles to the untrained eye. The dry, scaly, crusty appearance often with a cleft surface and a superficial ‘stuck on’ appearance are helpful identification points. They can be tiny or large even up to two inches across and can be removed with diathermy (AC) simply and effectively.
Hairs from moles are easily treated by those trained in advanced electrolysis techniques. Once treatment starts, it’s normal for the mole to reduce in size. Hairs in moles are generally deep with a very rich blood and nerve supply to them. Repeat treatments, as with hair removal electrolysis are needed. A mole is easily treated but rather than ‘removing’ we ‘visibly reduce the appearance’ of the mole.The first treatment will reduce the mole by up to half its size and then a follow up treatment can smooth it so that it is flat to the skin. The colour can never be guaranteed to exactly match the surrounding skin but if the mole is much darker the remaining skin, following treatment, will almost certainly be lighter.
Age Spots are very common on the hands and face of middle aged and elderly patients. Electrolysis is very effective. Using a very fine needle and current, a tiny section of the age spot is lifted from the underlying tissue. If the area revealed is lighter in colour removal can go ahead. If the pigment underneath is the same colour as the age spot itself the pigment goes deep into the dermis and treatment won’t be successful.
These appear on the eyelids as flat yellowish growths close to the nose. Causing no pain they are successfully treated. They reduce in size and appearance although the milky yellowy colour remains and more than one treatment is often required over a period of time.
Syringomas are benign sweat gland tumours presenting as flattish papules or plates found around the eye socket area in particular under the eye. They aren’t contagious and are flesh coloured elevations of the skin. They range from 1–3 mm in diameter and are firm to the touch. They are easily treated with diathermy and advanced electrolysis techniques.
Sebaceous Cyst is keratin trapped under the surface of the skin in a sac which is created from skin cells. They are painless, slow-growing, small bumps or lumps that move freely under the skin.
Sebaceous cysts are formed often due to swollen hair follicles, blocked glands, skin trauma and higher levels of testosterone in the body. Keratin is an extremely strong protein found naturally within the body and makes up skin, hair, nails and teeth. The size of the cyst can vary from a pea to an egg, and the areas most affected are those where there are more sebaceous (oil) glands, i.e. face, chest, scalp and back. If electrolysis is used it may be necessary to treat the cyst more than once depending on its size and location. Successful treatment can’t always be guaranteed as every cyst is very individual in nature.
An electrolysis needle is inserted into the sebaceous cyst a number of times and the heat softens the contents of the cyst and it’s sometimes possible to extract the contents immediately. It’s not always the case and apart from some redness the cyst might not look any different. Over the next week or so the nodule should reduce in size and further treatment can be needed.
How long will it take to recover from A.C.P?
No recovery time as such is necessary. You can return to work and normal activities immediately after a treatment. Depending on the particular skin condition being treated and the size of it, you can expect some post treatment discomfort and scabbing as the area heals. It’s best not to book for ACP when you have a holiday or social plans coming up in your diary.