Acne is a very common skin problem that comes in several forms. People with acne may have just one spot on their face or may have hundreds of blackheads, whiteheads, lumps, bumps and scars on their face, chest, back, and sometimes elsewhere. Depending on where you come from and what age you are, you may call them zits, plukes, spots or pimples.

The oily glands (sebaceous glands) on the face, chest and back become inflamed in acne. This happens for several reasons, including overproduction of oil, the presence of bacteria which like the oil, and the body’s heightened response to the presence of the oil and bacteria. This makes the characteristic signs of acne – blackheads and whiteheads (types of comedone), papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. A dermatologist is trained and is experienced in identifying these and knows best how to treat these signs.

Most people develop acne during puberty because the sebaceous glands are sensitive to hormones that begin to be produced in large amounts at this time. Rarely, young children may have acne and adults may be affected into their late thirties and early forties. Acne can be very upsetting and can knock confidence of adolescents and adults so that they socialise less and underperform in school and the workplace. The scars are permanent although there are new treatments becoming available to improve them.

Acne scarring [link] can occur early and this is why you should see a dermatologist sooner rather than later. Dr Marsland is an experienced dermatologist who has been treating all types of acne for many years with excellent results. He will discuss the most appropriate treatment for each individual patient.

Treatments for acne and scarring include topical (creams and lotions), systemic (tablets including antibiotics and retinoids) and physical treatments such as light treatments, laser and skin rolling with the Dermaroller.