What Is Acne?

Acne is the most common skin condition affecting both men and women and nearly every adolescent experiences some form of acne.  It can lead to feelings of embarrassment and low self-esteem.  Women tend to be affected earlier than men and for most people it doesn’t persist past their twenties although for some, particularly women, the condition can still affect them into their 50s.

It is a chronic skin condition which is caused by blockages in the hair follicle driven by sebum (oil) excess, hormonal influences and bacteria, which can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, cysts and scars.

At Altruderm we can help you identify the causes of your skin complaints and help you manage this with prescription medications, in-clinic treatments and advise on home skin care

Some Common Types of Acne

Acne is classified in various ways according to different characteristics such as when and how it presents on the face and body. There are multiple causes of acne including hormonal factors as well as environmental factors such as diet and stress.  It is also more likely that you will develop acne if your family members suffer from it. 

Acne Vulgaris

This is the most common type of acne (vulgaris is the medical term for “common”) mainly affecting adolescents but can persist into adulthood. All of us at some time or another have experienced acne in the form of spots which may be inflamed (pustules, papules, nodules) or non-inflamed (comedones, pseudocysts). Acne is graded by doctors as mild, moderate or severe depending on number of lesions. Acne usually presents on the face, originating from the hair gland as a result of too much oil, but it can also be present on the neck, chest and back.

Adult Acne

For some, acne may begin in teenage years and continue into adulthood although for others onset may not be until 25+ and persist into a person’s 30s or 40s. Adult acne tends to be mild to moderate, affecting women more than men with pre-menstrual flare ups common. A person usually presents with either mainly inflammatory lesions or with comedones. Depending on the severity, both types can result in scarring.

Acne Scarring

Scarring is a complication of acne, most typically of severe acne where nodules and cysts have burst causing damage to the skin. During the process of scarring, new collagen is formed to heal the skin resulting in a scar which has a different texture from the original skin.

There are three main types of scar resulting from acne:

  • Ice pick scars
  • Rolling scars
  • Box Scars

A consultation with the doctor will determine which type of scarring you have and therefore the most suitable treatment options.

Tips for Managing Acne

​Dr McDaid says:

For some sufferers of severe acne, isotretinoin (also known as roaccutane), which is prescribed only by consultant dermatologists, can still be the best available treatment. However, the side effects and lifestyle restrictions do not suit others. Where this is the case, we believe we have an effective alternative by prescribing a combination treatment approach of medical and non-surgical therapies which produce good, in some cases better, results.


Consultation with Doctor£100

Treatment plan will be provided following consultation.

In-clinic AlumierMD Peelsfrom £125
Private Prescription£20
Follow-up appointments£50

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I clear up my acne?

Unfortunately there’s not always a quick fix for treating acne. At Altruderm, the process begins with a thorough consultation a detailed medical history to assess the type of acne that is to be treated. As we are a medical clinic we are able to offer our patients a combined treatment approach including private prescriptions, in-clinic treatments and a bespoke home skin care regimen. Our focus is always on working with you to deliver the best results in a way that is progressive and effective.

Where can I find out more information online about acne?

The British Association of Dermatologists has a useful Patient Information Leaflet on Acne which can be found on their website, as well as a very helpful online acne resource called Acne Support with information on coping with the emotional effects acne can have on sufferers as well as practical advice on causes and treatment.

The NHS Choices website also offers advice about the causes, diagnosis and treatment of Acne.

We have enhanced our safety measures in the clinic during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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