Dermatologists at The London Clinic diagnose and treat acne early and effectively so that we can prevent acne scarring as much as possible.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots to develop on the face, back or chest. 

It is brought on by hormonal changes that cause excessive secretion of sebum (the body’s natural oil created to stop your skin from drying out) from the skin’s tiny glands which are attached to your hair follicles called sebaceous glands. This mixes with dead skin cells to block the pores.

Blocked pores can become infected by the normally harmless bacteria that live on the skin such as Propionibacterium acnes, causing white heads, black heads, spots, papules, pustules or cysts to form. In severe cases, acne can cause large painful infected nodules beneath the skin, which can leave scars when they eventually heal.

Who does acne affect?

Acne is a common skin condition affecting many people at various stages in their life. It affects up to 8 out of 10 teenagers, occurring earlier in girls than boys. This is due to the hormonal changes in the body as the level of testosterone increases to bring about physical and sexual maturity. In most cases, the symptoms of acne have eased by the age of 20.

Acne can occur later in life, with women especially vulnerable due to hormonal changes around pregnancy, menstrual periods, at the menopause and as a result of polycystic ovary syndrome. Around 5 % of women may experience acne symptoms beyond their teens.