What is Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point in their life. Acne causes spots, oily skin and sometimes skin that’s hot or painful to touch.

It occurs when Sebum is secreted from the sebaceous glands found on the surface of the skin, they are usually connected to hair follicles.

This sebum fills the tiny opening for hair follicles and blocks them, causing bacteria that naturally occurs in the skin to be locked in the follicle. The bacteria grows rapidly as there is a lack of oxygen due to the follicle being blocked. As this bacteria keeps growing, and the oil glands keep producing sebum, the tiny follicle starts to erupt and a spot appears on the top of the skin, the surrounding skin becomes red and inflamed and tender and sometimes infected.

Acne most commonly develops on the:

  • face – this affects almost everyone with acne
  • back – this affects more than half of people with acne
  • chest – this affects about 15% of people with acne

If your acne is severe, it may need to be treated with medication or strong Medically Based Skin creams that are only available on prescription.

The consultation fee to see a doctor for your skin condition is £100.


For mild or moderate acne book a complimentary consultation with one of our skin specialists.

Allow 30 mins for your appointment

During your Free of Charge Consultation with therapist/skin specialist will help with your skin diagnosis and offer a range of skincare and treatments to suit your skin and pocket.


Products containing a low concentration of benzoyl peroxide may also be recommended, but be careful as this can bleach clothing.

Skincare – HSSC

Harley Street Skin Care
Clean Tech Exfoliating Cleanser
Harley Street Skin Care
Clean Tech Renewal Lotion
Harley Street Skin Care
Clean Tech Oil Free Moisturiser
Harley Street Skin Care
Clean Tech Pore Minimizing Mask
Harley Street Skin Care
Clean Skin Advanced Technology Skin Full Range


Mineral Make Up – because it does not block pores and will not make spots worse.  Mineral make up can help to cover red and inflamed skin – one of our therapists can show you how to use mineral make and colour match for you. We have a sheet of how to use mineral make up – offer this to the client/patient.

Our Mineral Make Up will need colour matching, so please make an appointment to be colour matched. Make up lessons on how to disguise acne or skin imperfections can be arranged by Zoom. Costs from £80




Glycolic peels are mild skin peels with very little or no skin flaking, so you will be able to carry on normal life whilst having a course of treatment.

Glycolic Peels course of 6 peels £400 for the course or £80 per peel, administered at weekly intervals.  Skin must be prepared for 2 weeks before a peel with AHA products, and they must be used throughout the peel course.

Retinol peels course of three – £750 includes products to use during the course, no skin prep is required, peels are 4 weeks apart.  Between 24-48 hrs later skin flaking usually starts and lasts for 3-4 days. Appropriate for all skin types.

VI Derm Peels-  course of 4 peels at £1500 including skincare to prep skin and use during the course of treatment. Appropriate for acne skin types with mild pigmentation issues. Peels are at 4 weekly intervals, peeling may start 24 hours later and last anything up to a week.

Dermamalan Peel- £1200 this is a very strong peel administered by a doctor and is ideal for people with acne scarring and pigmentation issues. There is no preparation needed for this peel. It is left on the face for up to 12 hours after the application, peeling with start at 24-48 hours and continue for a week. During this time your skin will be red, flaky and tender to the touch. A review at 2 weeks and 4 weeks post peel is advised.

Spot injections £100 per session, the injection of cortisone usually remove any blemishes within 48 hours. While this will not prevent future breakouts from occurring, it is a quick fix for existing pimples with a lasting effect and can help to reduce scarring.

CELUMA- PDT- COURSE of 6 costs £400 or £100 per session (or buy a unit to use at home £995). Treatments, are administered weekly. No downtime, no pain, must remove make up before use, treatment takes 30 mins, make up can be applied immediately after use.

PDT is a Low-level-light therapy or photobiomodulation, it is based on Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology and is the application of light energy to the body for therapeutic benefits.

It promotes a natural photobiochemical reaction similar to the process of plant photosynthesis.

The energy delivered by the LEDs has been shown to enhance cellular metabolism, accelerate the repair and replenishment of damaged skin cells, as well as stimulate the production of collagen — the foundation of healthy, smooth skin.

Research has shown that LED light therapy may help smooth skin texture, improve skin firmness and resilience, increase lymphatic system activity, restore skin’s natural cellular activity and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and superficial hyperpigmentation. The treatment is for all skin types, and is non-ablative, non-invasive, painless, and requires absolutely no downtime. Patients or clients can return to their normal activity immediately after the treatment.

There are different types of spots

There are 6 main types of spot caused by acne:

  • Blackheads – small black or yellowish bumps that develop on the skin; they’re not filled with dirt, but are black because the inner lining of the hair follicle produces colour
  • Whiteheads – have a similar appearance to blackheads, but may be firmer and will not empty when squeezed.
  • Papules – small red bumps that may feel tender or sore.
  • Pustules – similar to papules, but have a white tip in the centre, caused by a build-up of pus.
  • Nodules – large hard lumps that build up beneath the surface of the skin and can be painful.
  • Cysts – the most severe type of spot caused by acne; they’re large pus-filled lumps that look similar to boils and carry the greatest risk of causing permanent scarring.

These self-help techniques may be useful:

  • Do not wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day. Frequent washing can irritate the skin and make symptoms worse.
  • Wash the affected area with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water.
  • Do not scrub skin.
  • Very hot or cold water can make acne worse.
  • Ensure that you use a clean flannel every time you wash the skin.
  • Blot dry, do not rub.
  • Do not try to squeeze spots or blackheads. This can make them worse and cause permanent scarring.
  • Avoid using too much liquid make-up, use mineral make up as it does not block pores as the molecule is too large to penetrate the skin.
  • Use water-based products that are described as non-comedogenic. This means the product is less likely to block the pores in your skin.
  • Completely remove make-up before going to bed.
  • If dry skin is a problem, use a fragrance free, oil free moisturiser.
  • Regular exercise cannot improve your acne, but it can boost your mood.
  • Shower as soon as possible once you finish exercising as sweat can irritate your acne.
  • Wash your hair regularly, when you wash your hair try to avoid the shampoo running onto your face and try to avoid letting your hair fall across your face.

Although acne cannot be cured, it can be controlled with treatment.

If these do not control your acne, or it is making you feel very unhappy, seek help, G.P, a cosmetic doctor or practitioner.

You should see a Cosmetic doctor or a GP if you have moderate or severe acne or you develop nodules or cysts, as they need to be treated appropriately to avoid scarring.

Try to resist the temptation to pick or squeeze the spots, as this can lead to permanent scarring.

Treatments can take up to 3 months to work, so do not expect results overnight. Once they do start to work, the results are usually good.

Ensure that you complete any treatment programme that you start even if your skin begins to improve.

Why do I have acne?

Acne is most commonly linked to the changes in hormone levels during puberty, but can start at any age and as young as 8 or 9 years old.

Certain hormones cause an over production of oil in the skin, this oil is called sebum.

This abnormal amount of sebum changes the activity of a usually harmless skin bacterium called P. acnes bacteria, which becomes more aggressive and causes inflammation and pus.

The hormones also thicken the inner lining of the hair follicle, causing blockage of the pores. Cleaning the skin does not help to remove this blockage.

Other possible causes

Acne is known to run in families. If both your mother and father had acne, it is likely that you will also have acne.

Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, can also lead to episodes of acne in women.

There’s no evidence that diet, poor hygiene or sexual activity play a role in acne.

Who is affected?

Acne is very common in teenagers and younger adults. About 95% of people aged 11 to 30 are affected by acne to some extent.

Acne is most common in girls from the ages of 14 to 17, and in boys from the ages of 16 to 19.

Most people have acne on and off for several years before their symptoms start to improve as they get older.

Acne often disappears when a person is in their mid-20s.

In some cases, acne can continue into adult life. About 3% of adults have acne over the age of 35.

Who gets acne?

Acne most commonly starts during puberty, between the ages of 10 and 13 and tends to be worse in people with oily skin. Teenage acne often lasts for five to 10 years before it goes away during the early 20s. Teenage boys usually suffer the most severe cases while women are more likely than men to have mild to moderate forms into their 30s and beyond.

Acne occurs when greasy secretions from the skin’s oil glands form a plug in the tiny opening for hair follicles.

If the follicle openings are large, the take the form of blackheads whereas if the openings stay small, the clogs take the form of whiteheads. Both types of clogged pores can develop into swollen, tender inflammations or pimples or deeper lumps or nodules.

Nodules associated with severe cases of acne are firm swellings below the skin’s surfaces that become tender, inflamed and sometimes infected.

Interested in our aesthetics treatments?

Please feel free to get in touch.