Acne is not limited to teenagers. Most people outgrow acne, but in women, it may last until menopause. A small percentage of women and an even lower percentage of men develop acne at the age of 40.

Acne is classed as a genetic disease, which means it can not be cured but if can be controlled. Before we can understand how to treat acne, let’s gain a better understanding of what causes acne, the different types of acne, as well as influences of acne.


What causes Acne?

Acne can occur around the time of puberty, pregnancy, menopause and / or periods of long-term stress. This is due to an increase in testosterone which stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum (oil) which is stickier in texture, this mixes with dead skin cells to form a blockage in the pore. As the skin continues to shed dead cells and produce more sebum, this blockage causes a build up and the plug develops into a comedone (blackhead or whitehead). Propionibacterium acnes (the P.acne bacteria), is anaerobic bacteria, meaning it thrives in an oxygen-free environment, that uses sebum as it’s main food source. With excess sebum and oxygen unable to enter the pore freely, it’s the perfect environment for the bacteria to multiple. P.acne bacteria release an enzyme called lipase to help digest the sebum i that irritate the lining of the follicle. This results in an inflammatory response and an inflamed lesion known as a ‘papule’ is formed. Your skins autoimmune system attempts to fight the bacterial infection with white blood cells, surrounding the infection. This is known as ‘pus’ and the formation of a ‘pustule’. If the inflammation is allowed to spread to the deeper layers of tissue, then a large painful pus-filled lesion known as a Nodule is formed.

Other causes of Acne

Below is a list of things that can cause or make acne worse: Cosmetics: when you use a new product or a product which doesn’t agree with your skin, it starts to breakout. It could be from makeup, sunscreen, products with ingredients that clog your pores, irritating fragrance from fabric softeners etc. Food Allergies: Some foods in certain skin type can cause breakouts or make acne worse. These include a sensitivity to milk, dairy, iodine, gluten, biotin, sugar, soy, etc Poor Cell Turnover Rate : when a dead skin cells are not being shed at the proper rate and contribute to pore blockage, it leads to acne. Disturbed Skin: When your skin is irritated (red, flaky, itchy, stingy) or overly dry, it can make you more vulnerable to p.acnes. With poor skin barrier function, your skin doesn’t do a good job protecting itself and keeping itself healthy. Underlying Health Problems: Underlying health problems can also cause acne. These include candida, thyroid problems, PCOS, diabetes, digestive imbalances, and metabolism issues. Stress, Lack of Sleep: Stress can be seen on the skin and can worsen acne symptoms but is not a direct cause of acne. Toxin Build-Up: Toxins can build up in your body through constipation or poor liver/kidney/intestinal function. When this happens, the build up gets released through your skin, resulting in acne.

Different Types of Acne

Acne can be divided into 4 different grades depending on how it looks and its severity. The severity differs from one person to the other. Grade 1 – Mild Acne Grade 1 Acne is the mildest of 4 acne types hence it also most commonly know as mild acne. This Acne consists of comedones (blackheads) mostly on the nose, and a few papules which are small, red breakouts typically found on the cheeks. These breakouts are minimal and tend to be occasional. Grade 2 – Moderate Acne In moderate acne, there are more blemishes. Apart from the T zone area, lesions can occur anywhere in the face. The skin has several whiteheads which are also called closed comedones. They appear like raised white or yellowish dots. When squeezed white material will come out. Around a white head, there is surrounding redness due to mild inflammation and sometimes mild swelling of the area. Apart from whiteheads, there are papules (firm elevated reddish or skin colored bumps when felt feel rough and irregular) and pustules (small bump or blister filled with yellowish material /pus) which are also called pimples. Papules, when squeezed no fluid, will come out. Pustules when squeezed, yellow color pus will come out sometimes mixed with blood. Pus is an accumulation of skin debris, white blood cells, and bacteria. Grade 3 – Severe Acne Inflammation is marked and there will be a lot of papules and pustules over the face. Since the lesions occur near to each other, it can spread and merge with each other and look like crops. This will lead to skin damage and even without squeezing, scarring can occur once healed. In severe acne, infection is deep within the skin. There will be more redness and mild swelling of the face. Grade 4 – Cystic Acne This stage is very severe. The blemishes are large. They can occur not only on the face but neck, shoulders, back and sometimes arms. They are deep and firm to touch. There are cysts which look like a boil or a big blister. The size of a cyst may be about half a centimeter in diameter. They contain pus inside. There are also firm or hard bumps called nodules. They do not contain pus. When the face is touched, it may cause pain. Scarring is very common in Cystic acne as the lesions are deep.

How to help prevent acne getting worse

1) Avoid eating excessive amounts of sugary foods 2) Avoid eating or drinking excessive amounts of dairy products 3) Avoid stress, practice relaxation techniques, have a good nights sleep 4) Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, dehydrated body signals the skin to produce oil to keep it moisturised. 5) Help keep your skin hydrated by using an oil free moisturiser. 6) Keep your face clean wash at-least twice a day to remove impurities, dead skin cells, and extra oil from your skin’s surface. 7) Proper personal hygiene – Wash hair regularly to prevent dandruff, keep skin clean 8) Avoid too much exposure to the sun (including sunbeds) as it may dehydrate your skin resulting in oil production. 9) Use mineral makeup products and products for oily/acne skin type 10) Always Remove your make-up make up at the end of the day and do not excercise with make-up on. Alawys wash your make -up brushes in with washing up liquid weekly. 11) Avoid using greasy creams as it can block pores 12) Wash your pillow case every week 13) Clean your phone with an anti-bacterial wipe 14) Try to not touch your face as this will put dirt on the skin through your hands 15) Don’t panic if you get a spot – because that will only worsen the issue. Be patient with the treatment plan.

Acne Treatment & Acne Scaring Treatment

By following Andy’s “4 Pillars to Skin Health” philosophy, the initial step in any acne treatment is an in-depth skin health consultation to identify the possible causes of acne, before a treatment plan can be designed to correct the condition and provide the tools needed to ensure that it does not return.

Whilst acne is considered a genetic condition, it doesn’t mean you’re a slave to your genetics! By following an “Anti-Acne Diet” you are able to regulate hormone production and dramatically reduce the amount of chronic inflammation the skin is exposed to and aid it’s renewal and healing process from within. Combined with various treatments ranging from LED Blue Light Therapy for Acne, to metabolic facial peels or SkinPen Micro-Needling to address the scaring.

Depending on the type of acne you have and the causes behind it, the treatment approach will vary. Typically a treatment series will consist of corrective facials to repair barrier function or where appropriate Metabolic Peels such as the CosMedix Purity Peels (the amount needed would depend on the grade of acne). Using a combination of Salicylic Acid, L-Lactic and encapsulated Retinol AGP complex, plus Willowherb and Zinc for anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. These chirally correct peels treat multiple aspects of the condition including the inflammation, bacteria, congested pores and excess sebum. An advanced home care regime plus diet/nutrition advice is also recommended to follow in-between treatments to ensure the maximum results. This would be discussed as part of your aftercare.

LED Blue Light Therapy is also an excellent treatment for acne and acne prone skins. It is non-invasive and effective form of treatment on its own OR can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as the Purity Peel. Blue light therapy is an excellent acne treatment because it has an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. Helping to reduce two of the major causes of acne.

Micro needling is also a very effective treatment for acne scarring because it increases collagen production in the skin. For best results, micro needling can be used alongside metabolic peels as part of an overall treatment process to address any active acne, prior to treating the scaring.

Andy is based in Harborne, Birmingham. If you are interested in treatment for acne or acne facials book an appointment now.


Natural and  Vegan

Duration of results 

permanent if healthy lifestyle is maintained

Number of treatments

6 spaced 4 weeks apart


From £100

Down Time