Acne Causes, Effects & Treatments Guide

Acne is a common skin condition, suffered by many. Some people mistakenly believe that acne only occurs during teenage years, but in actual fact, it can happen during adulthood as well. Acne spots can affect your face, neck, back and chest, ranging from mild to severe. 

Acne Causes, Effects & Treatments Guide 

Acne skincare guide |The Harley Medical GroupAcne is a common skin condition, suffered by many. Some people mistakenly believe that acne only occurs during teenage years, but in actual fact, it can happen during adulthood as well. Acne spots can affect your face, neck, back and chest, ranging from mild to severe. The good news is that there are multiple solutions to help treat your acne and prevent any scarring - read on to find out how in our acne skincare guide.


What causes acne?

Acne is caused by numerous factors:

  • Changes in hormones

An imbalance in your hormones can often cause a breakout of acne. As women are prone to changing hormones, this is one of the reasons why adult acne is more prevalent in women than men. A woman’s hormones change during their monthly menstrual cycle, during pregnancy and the menopause, as well as after starting or stopping taking birth control tablets.

  • Stress

High levels of stress are another cause of acne. When we are stressed, our bodies produce more of the hormone androgen, which stimulates our sebaceous glands, causing them to produce more oil, which in turn clogs pores and forms acne spots.

  • Genes

Unfortunately for some, acne can be hereditary, so if your mother, father, sister or brother suffer or have suffered in the past from acne, this may be the reason behind your spots. It is thought that those who are genetically predisposed to get acne often suffer from adult acne.


Acne scars

Unlike normal spots, some types of acne spots are likely to scar, even if you don’t pick them. These are known as cystic lesions, which often look inflamed and are characterised by a painful feeling underneath the skin. To help repair the skin, more white blood cells are produced in the affected area, which contains more enzymes. This causes the white blood cells to become destroyed, making the skin try harder to repair itself faster, resulting in a scar.

There are three main types of acne scars:

  • Ice pick scars: This is where your acne has left your skin covered with small, deep holes, as though an ice pick has punctured it.
  • Rolling scars: This is where acne scar tissue forms in bands underneath the skin, causing it to have an uneven appearance.
  • Boxcar scars: These are crater-like holes in the skin.


How to prevent acne scarring

By making small changes to your daily life, you can ensure that your skin is in the best possible condition, minimising the formation of acne scars. There are many things you can try, including:

  • Stop touching your spots

It may be tempting to touch your acne spots but by doing so you will transfer the oil on your fingers to your skin, which can result in your spots becoming more inflamed or spreading further.

  • Regular application of sun cream

Being exposed to a lot of sunlight on a regular basis can make your acne worse. To help combat this, you should apply sun cream daily – even if it is not sunny outside. This will create a seal to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.

  • Reduce your intake of milk

Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the amount of milk a person consumes, and the rate and severity of acne. If you suffer from severe acne spots, try to limit the amount of milk and milk-containing products you consume.

  • Establish a daily skincare regime

Rather than simply using facewipes to remove any residue of make-up and dirt from your face, expert dermatologists advise you to establish a daily skincare regime. This should include washing your face no more than twice each day, using warm (not hot) water and a gentle cleanser. You can either use your hands or a baby washcloth (as this is gentler than a regular one) to rinse and then pat your skin dry with a fresh towel.

  • Check the ingredients of your make-up

Being ingredient-savvy can also help to prevent acne scarring, and there are some types of make-up which can aid you in concealing your spots and scars. Look out for products containing salicylic acid, which is known to help fight acne. Non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic products will prevent clogged pores and further breakouts.


Book a consultation with an expert

The easiest way to prevent acne scarring is to visit a dermatologist, who will be able to advise you on the best course of action, depending on your skin and the type of scar. Here at The Harley Medical Group, we offer a number of treatments and skincare products which are gentle on your skin and will help to prevent any scars from forming.


Treatments for acne and acne scarring

  • The Harley Medical Group | PPX Laser Acne TreatmentIsolaz / PPx

Our Isolaz lasers have been FDA approved (US Food and Drug Administration) so you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands. This painless treatment can be used to safely tackle a range of skin conditions, including acne and uneven skin pigmentation. Suitable for all skin types, the majority of our patients report an immediate visible improvement in the appearance of their skin. For optimum results, we recommend a course of five treatments.


  • Obagi Blue Skin Peel

The Harley Medical Group | Obagi Skincare Acne

Our deep rejuvenating Obagi Blue Skin Peels help to unclog your blocked pores, targeting the affected area to remove unwanted blemishes and uneven pigmentation. Once the damaged skin has been removed, your healthy new skin cells will emerge, making your skin appear clearer, smoother and tighter. Your suitability for this treatment will be assessed during your free skin consultation – this also gives you a chance to ask any questions you may have regarding your acne or scarring. You’ll see the effects of the treatment immediately, with your skin becoming firmer, clearer, healthier and smoother over the following four to six weeks.


  • The Harley Medical Group | Dermaroller Acne ScarringDerma FNS (Dermapen)

This micro-needling solution effectively treats acne scars by stimulating the skin to produce more collagen, giving you a smoother and more even appearance. DermapenTreatments are suitable for use on all skin tones and types, helping to tighten enlarged pores and flesh out scars. It can be used on the face, neck, and décolletage, taking an average of up to six weeks before visible signs of improvement can be seen. We recommend that patients apply sun cream with SPF50 post-treatment to help soothe the area and inject plenty of moisture into your skin.




The Harley Medical Group's Homecare Acne Solutions

To ensure you get optimum results we highly recommend a good daily homecare routine. Your practitioner will a design bespoke skincare package tailored to your specific needs which may include some of the following products:


Dermaclear Cleanser

Specially formulated with Mandelic Acid, this cleanser is ideal for all stages of acne, yet is particularly beneficial for breakouts.


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DermaClear Cleanser - Shop Now


Clear and control breakouts with our signature anti-acne serum without over drying. Prevents future breakouts by reducing dead skin buildup.


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DermaClear Serum - Shop Now

Dermaclear Pads

Our clarifying pads help remove impurities and excess oil from your skin.


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DermaClear Pads - Shop Now


A clay mask that cleans pores, relieves congestion and reduces redness


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DERMACLEAR Spot Treatment

A localised treatment that calms and dries out irritated areas suffering from a breakout.


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A gentle and highly effective cleanser that actively reduces severe pustules and papules.


Ask in your local clinic for details

If your acne is making you feel embarrassed or causing scars to develop on your skin, contact The Harley Medical Group and book a free skin consultation with our experts. We’ll analyse your skin type and advise you on the best course of action for treating your acne and acne scars – it’s that simple.