Sunday, 13 October 2013

Should you ever pop a spot?

It's a big question, you look in the mirror, realise that you've been walking around all day with a large yellow friend on your face-- embarrassing, right?

- yellow "friend", AKA a spot.

It's a big question, everyone is posed with it at one point in their life; whether it's unfortunately everyday, or once in a blue moon (lucky people). The common idea is that we shouldn't pop them, yet we all do squeeze them-- it's almost like they were made to be squeezed, are they?

Well to get a better understanding of what a spot is, we need to look at the anatomy of the spot, why do they form?

This is a very basic over-review of how the acne forms; you can think of the sebaceous gland as a pump, pumping oils(sebum) onto the skin via the sebaceous duct (where the hair is). In normal skin, this functions pretty well, but in acne skin there is a problem; in simple terms the duct becomes clogged up-- a traffic jam of sebum.

Our little friend called "Propionibacterium acnes"  (P.Acnes) come along and they love this oxygen-free (anaerobic) area in the sebaceous gland and duct, the bacteria feed off the sebum blocked in the skin, they love it. They release digestive enzymes that can break down sebum in the skin as an energy source and can even break down the hair follicle it self, they're pretty damaging. Now that the bacteria have a home(the follicle) the bacterium multiply massively, filling up the follicle, eventually this causes the inflammation and redness.

Now you have a little friend superficially forming on your face, not nice.

My opinion 

In my opinion, I think you should try your best not to "pop" a spot, however it's not ideal having to go about your day with a large spot that's just bursting to explode. My advice would be to only squeeze them in the morning and not at night, this reduces the chances of further infections in the skin, reduces risk of anything spreading from the point. Whilst i'm asleep, I don't worry about how I look, I couldn't care less. So I simply leave any spots for the morning-- generally if I leave it until the morning anyway, they tend to go, I apply my DMK acu-klear to smaller spots and acu-therm to large spots which haven't formed a "head*".

When you're going to pop a spot however, always cleanse the area around the spot first, and make sure you've cleaned your hands pretty well too. After popping the spot, make sure you cleanse the area again thoroughly, whilst still being gentle to your skin. Simple protocol like this will reduce the chances of the acne becoming infected, or any more severe.

So in fairness, it's a tough call to make, try your hardest not to pop your spots. In an ideal world I wouldn't have to pop them.

A professional opinion 

I asked skin-expert Danne Montague King on his opinion, he wrote:

"When you squeeze a pimple with fingers you risk spreading the p.acne bacteria. This "rupturing the skin" also is the start of creating a scar. Pimples can be professionally evacuated with a comedon extractor and an lancet.
Using ACU THERM to hydrolyze the wax sebum plug and pus away is best even if it takes a day (max two days)  It evacuates the pimple and purges the area from bacteria.
IF however, the pustule is already open after cleansing with the Acu Klear system-- sterilize your hands well with the cleanser and GENTLY press each side of the pustule with two fingers until it evacuates. Then clean the skin again, dashing cold water onto the face as a final rinse. If the pimple is still bleeding, apply a small amount of clean tissue on it with pressure to stop the bleeding. Once the bleeding is stopped, the tissue can be softened with water and removed" 

*when I say head, I mean when are above the skin, they tend to have a yellow pigment and can be very easily extracted.

I hope this helped you with your decision on how to tackle your skin problems. I'd love to post more often, I really would, if you have any ideas on what you would like the next article to be about, please contact me:

All the best,

William Thomas Terence Rickard. (Will)

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Why do we wear sunscreen ? What's a tan ?

Why do we wear sunscreen?  What's a tan? 

We are all told to wear sunscreen when it's warm, but why? And why don't we get told to wear sunscreen in the winter?  The are all good questions, but to start we need to cover a few topics and really clarify what everything means, so we can have a thorough understanding...

                                  What is SPF ?

Every bottle of sunscreen has the 3 letters written in large on the packaging "SPF"--but what does it stand for?  SPF stands for "Sun Protection Factor", how much protection from UVB radiation (which I will explain later, well soon). It is measured between 1 and 50+; companies are not allowed to advertise anything over 50+ as studies have show ineffectiveness therefor it may cause unnecessary competition between businesses.

What does the number mean ? (SPF 15, SPF 30,etc.)

To put into simple terms, SPF 15 would allow a person that burns in the sun after 10 minutes burn after 150. (10x15=150).


The sun emits a spectrum of ultraviolet rays throughout the day and ALL year around, scientists have named them A-C-- C being the shortest wavelength of light and A being the longest and most penetrable.

UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer so we don't really need to worry about it.

UVB reaches the skin's outer surface, responsible for sunburns(which I will be talking about shortly), it doesn't penetrate glass--so it can't get you in your house! And is most intense between 10am and 2pm.
Also plays a role in the synthesis of Vitamin D3 in the skin, which again I will talk about later.

UVA is what causes a tan. However  has been linked to skin damage in many studies, it and UVB have been named carcinogenic (can cause cancer) because of their potential of causing DNA damage, directly and indirectly-- this can lead to cancer and apoptosis (cell death).

But the worst- UVA is responsible for 90% of ageing of the skin which leads to wrinkles.


It's pretty important at blocking those nasty rays, tans are nice and to be fair I could do with one, but still we need to be protected from sun burns, skin cancer, and ageing. Containing either Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide; they are 2 common active ingredients in the sunscreen that block UV rays. 
There are several types of suncreams: ones that block only UVA, some that only block UVA and then most popular the ones that block UVA/UVB which is what you should look out for when buying a bottle of suncream.

DMK's trans-dermal sunscreen will protect you from both UVA/UVB rays all year around. I where it everyday as a part of my skin-care regime. It's SPF 30, it's non-comedogenic(doesn't block pores, perfect for acne-prone skin) and you can put other products on top of it--for girls, makeup can be easily worn on top with-out any problems.

If you would like to purchase DMK sunscreen or start DMK treatment call/text Susanne Williams on her mobile; 07768902350 

To find out about DMK treatment you can read my blog post that I made here:

So should I wear sunscreen all year around? 

The answer I hope has been explained; that yes you should, the sun emits UV rays all year around, albeit more in the summer, but still enough to cause photo-ageing(light ageing) in other months from UVA rays. 

You can still get a tan, the skin can age and burn inside with enough exposure, the windows absorb some UV light but not all. So yes wear sunscreen inside, all day, everyday. 

What's a tan? 

A tan is your skin's natural-way of protecting you from UV rays, yet don't think a tan is an excuse to not wear sunscreen- no. A good bronze tan will only act as an SPF-4 sunscreen  so keep topping your sunscreen up throughout the day even when you look like a Dorito. 

Melanin is the reason for your skin colour, melanin is produced by the body from cells called "Melanocytes", when UVB rays damage the skin, the Melanocytes then produce the Melanin and the skin colour changes. 

What to do with a burn? 

The first night after being on holiday is what I remember the most as i always burn, I look like a tomato, I cannot lay down in bed on my back due to the burn. Moisturising the skin helps, but will be very painful. 

 My dermatologist Susanne Williams said to use Beta-gel on your skin within 30 minutes of having the burn and the skin will not "recored" the trauma in the skin cell, also continue wearing the Sunblock to stop any further burning.

Why doesn't my friend burn? But I do? 

It's down to genetics and your Fitzpatrick type explained here: 

Please remember to subscribe to this blog, the next post will be a photo-update of my skin over the past 2's amazing! All to come.

Enjoy your summer.

Will x

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Antibiotics for treating acne

"Come down to the surgery and I will sort your skin out with some tablets"-- Dr. Barnsley said as he pulled my toenail off. I knew little at the time about acne and the treatments-- I was a "newby". I trusted any drug that the doctor would ever prescribe me at that and age not even consider the down sides, I just did what any normal human being does and took the medication like the doctor ordered. I have always being very meticulous with my skin regime-- careful and concise. I'd set an alarm at 6:07 AM, one hour before I woke up to have breakfast to take the antibiotics, i'd have a cup next to my bed, it would have to be the same time everyday and then 12 hours later at 6:07PM-- I really wanted the drug to work, you do anything that you can in times of desperate need.

Oxytetracycline it was called, I vaguely remember much about how the drug really worked over the 6 months that I took it. I remember starting it on the 16th of December 2011 (I somehow remember numbers really well). My acne wasn't that bad at the time, in fact it was a petty few spots that were just bugging me-- my mum saw the potential outcome of these few spots as it ran in the family; it was going to end up worse, a lot worse. So mum was looking into the already dark future ahead and wanted to get into a regime that would work before it was too late.

After 3 months my skin was clear-- not one imperfection, not even a scar. This was down to the fact that my acne hadn't matured to that such aggressive stage yet, so the drug could take care of it with ease. My skin was amazing for another 3 months and then it slowly crept back and this time, much, much worse.

Back to the Doctors I went, this time it was a combination of Lymecycline and topical benzyl peroxide. It was ineffective and I spent that Christmas with acne-riddle skin, a deep feeling of shame and disgust in my self image. I eventually gave up hope with the Lymecycline and continued using Benzyl Peroxide for the following year. Then January 25th 2012 I began Lymecycline yet again as I really wanted it to work in an act of final desperation before even considering the notorious accutane.

The sort of "prognosis" of the drug was textbook--the first week a breakout, then an ever-slowing decrease or sort of entropy of the acne from around week 3 to month 3 (week 12). At around 9-12 weeks my skin was getting a lot better, a huge improvement-- but not in anyway the results that I hoped for at all. The inflammation subsidised greatly, the amount of yellow pustules I would wake up to on a morning was a lot less which made waking up much more bearable.(a good way to start a day).

The redness still stayed, the "hyper-pigmentation"(red marks left after a spot that never seem to go) still stayed, so really on the sort of health side of things the acne was obsolete yet the remains of a never ending civil war between my skin and acne still remained (bit melodramatic). A large amount of scarring still remained-- bumps and dips covered a large proportion of my face. Luckily (May 26th) my treatment Danné Montague-King (DMK) came into my life and changed my skin and my life for good. :)

I began to realise a few side effects from the drug-- yellowing of my teeth which to this day is the worst side effect as let's be honest, no one likes to look at yellow teeth. (hence why Hollywood actors have their teeth whitened).
          Other side effect were; very greasy hair, albeit I was in that transition period becoming a                teenager but since I stopped taking them my hair becomes a lot less greasy-- this was due to the hair-thinning effect that the drug does, it things your hair out a lot. That was it for the side effects for me in all honesty, nothing else really struck me.

To sum up antibiotics-- they are ok, probably the best drug the NHS can offer you, they will take a while to kick in(months) they don't cure any scarring or other pigmentation problems. If you haven't tried them yet though it may be worth using them but remember they only last 6months(including the 3 months they take to sort of "kick in"). So really you only get potentially 2-3 golden months. For anyone I would always recommend DMK as a course of treatment, as it always produces results, covers any type of skin problem and is a long-term solution.

A lot of people ask me for contact details for the treatment, so below I attached Susanne's business card for my fellow acne friends!

As always take care, I give my utter most sympathy to any of you that are suffering from acne and there is a way out! Remember that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for all.

I am going to be blogging a lot more this week, maybe a second post tonight or tomorrow! I have a few things in mind that I want to talk about, but if anyone has any suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below and i'd be happy to write about it!

Best of luck to anybody that's sitting exams as well!

Please share this with at least one other sufferer to spread the word!

Lots of love, Will! x

Saturday, 9 March 2013

BEST ACNE HOME TREATMENT: acu masque and micro peel review: Danné (with pictures)

I've been using the micro peel and acu masque for around 8 months now, I started using them around a month or two into my treatment and I use them every 2 weeks. My thoughts are that they're both very useful products for anybody with acne, i'd recommend using them during your treatment and also after. If I have an important event, I will use the combination of the two products just to freshen my skin up. Sometimes your skin may become a little dry, flaky or just looks unhappy :( when this this happens, micro peel and acu masque are there to help! 

In this review I'm going to do a before and after using the peel with pictures that I took with a flash camera and also my computer, that will be further on in the blog!! 

How to use the products:

Step 1) Prepare the skin, to do this you will need to wash your skin with lukewarm water, this will help remove and dirt the has collected over the day.

Step 2) Use your Danné cleanser to well...cleanse the skin.

Step 3) Put a small amount of micro peel onto your finger tips, begin to sort-of massage the product into your skin, try to spread it evenly around. 

Step 4) Leave the peel on for 3-5 minutes. I leave it on for 10, ask your DMK dermatologist how long you should leave it on for, 10 is usually long enough. 
 It should look elastic.

Step 5) Remove the micro peel with water, you do not have to use cleanser to remove it, but you may if you wish.

Step 6) Once you have all the micro peel off of your skin, open your tub of acu masque, it should look like this and smell like mint! 

Step 7) Get a small amount of the acu masque and put it onto your palm, then dab small amounts onto your skin and spread it evenly.

Step 8) Wait around 20-30 minutes, again always ask your DMK dermatologist what the right amount of time for you is! The masque will get a little tighter and dryer, it's normal. Eventually it will get very dry and your face will look like this! 

Step 9) Remove the acu masque with warm water and your cleanser. You will realise that your skin will feel different; more smooth and plastic-like. 

Before and after, on the left before and right after; before i'm wearing a hoodie and after i'm wearing a jumper.

Thanks for reading. 

Please call/text Susanne Williams to start your Danné treatment: 07768902350
Or if you live outside the UK then check out:

Ps. Me and Stefan Lay (from the documentary) are making a huge post all about accutane, so stay updated and subscribe to this blog, follow my facebook at and follow my twitter at

Love Will Rickard. 

Friday, 1 February 2013

How to get rid of a spot over night

How to "get rid" of a spot over night

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You've had fairly clear skin for the past week, then the day before an important event...boom a large, noticeable and degrading spot appears. This isn't a small spot, it's big, it's red, it's tinted yellow, so you can't really pop it!  It's inflamed and it's either on the end of your nose or your cheek. Everyone can see it,great.

Most people just get really worried about it, then put a cream on such as "Clearasil", which never works(In my opinion). But I have a really good way of getting rid of a spot overnight, buzzkill.

It was the day of Christmas, I was stuffing my face with food and enjoying time with my family. Later on around 9pm, I stood staring at the mirror for about 10 minutes, there it was...a giant spot on my chin. Damn I thought, the next day I was going to a boxing day party, there was going to be a lot of people there.

 A sudden migraine came on, I went to the cupboard to find a painkiller(Usual protocol for headaches). It was either paracetamol or ibuprofen. That's when it hit me, ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory, magic. So I looked up the standerd doses for my height and weight, which was 600mg every 4 hours (I'm 6"3, so anyone under that height I would check the dosage) . So I took 3x200mg every 4 hours, had to wake up at 4am to take them, I was dedicated.

Also I wouldn't recommend taking them that often as you may suffer the side effects, I am not taking any responsibility for anyone taking the ibuprofen, check with your doctor before hand, take at own risk. 

Remember it has to be ibuprofen, not paracetamol.

The next thing I did was use my Danné regime which I use everyday, then added in a few side products; Acu-Klear and Acu-Therm, both products of Danné.

I used the Acu-clear first, adding a small amount to the spot, gently rubbing it in. Leaving it to dry for a minute. 
 Then use Acu-Therm, adding a small dab to the spot, it will sting a little a first. Make sure that you mash your hands too, don't get it in your eye or anywhere that you wouldn't like to be in extreme discomfort.

Personally I love the Acu-Klear, I use it every night that I shave, it prevents any new spots and will help with any current lesion. The Acu-Therm is powerful, Danné recommends using this on spots that don't yet have a "head" yet, that cant' be popped as such. The product will do that, loosening the skin, reducing inflammation and speeding up the process. All-in-all, they're defiantly needed to combat a spot overnight.

The next day I woke up and yes! Result, the spot had almost gone, I could barely notice it. Please give it a go, even if you don't have Danné products, you can still take ibuprofen.

Another recommendation is to take a Zinc supplement, I used this a lot when my acne was bad and it did help, a lot! The actual size of the spot will decrease by a large fraction whilst taking zinc. High doses are what tended to work better, search around for what dosage would suit you. I went for around 100mg/twice a day. Take at own risk, consult a doctor before taking them. 

Anyway, I hope that this helped, have a lovely weekend.