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Acne is a very common skin condition characterised by comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and pus-filled spots (pustules). It usually starts at puberty and varies in severity from a few spots on the face, back and chest, which most adolescents will have at some time, to a more serious problem that may be embarrassing, sap self-confidence and cause scarring.
For the majority, it tends to resolve by the late teens or early twenties but can persist for longer in some people. It can develop for the first time in people in their late twenties or even the thirties. It occasionally occurs in young children.
The sebaceous (oil-producing) glands of people who get acne are particularly sensitive to normal blood levels of a hormone called testosterone, which is present in both men and women. This causes the glands to produce an excess of oil. At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the pores are not shed properly and clog up the follicles.
These two effects result in a build up of oil producing blackheads (where a darkened plug of oil is visible) and whiteheads. The bacterium (known as Propionibacterium acnes) lives on everyone's skin, usually causing no problems, but in those prone to acne, the build-up of oil creates an ideal environment in which these bacteria can multiply. This triggers inflammation and the formation of red or pus-filled spots.
During your consultation, we will assess your skin and perform a full examination. This will help him to create a bespoke treatment plan for you. The clinic at Pall Mall Medical offers a number of specialist treatments including:
Acne consultation with a Dermatologist