Acne Vulgaris Skin Disease

Feb 23, 2024 | Skin Care

Acne Vulgaris is a common skin disease that can affect individuals of all demographics.

Adolescent acne is more common in males than in females, whereas post adolescent acne predominantly affects females.

Acne symptoms develop in the skin when an increase of androgen hormones trigger the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum (oil). In addition, there is an increase of excess skin cells. These two factors combine to create a ‘sticky cell’ substance, which adheres to the inside of the skin’s pore (follicle). Bacteria add to the mix. As a result, an immune response is triggered to attack the bacteria, causing inflamed, red, acne symptoms on the skin surface.

Over time, these infected follicles rupture with the release of bacteria, dead skin cells, and proinflammatory lipids into the surrounding skin structure, exacerbating the inflammation with subsequent acne breakout formation.

The severity of this skin disease can vary, and can present with both inflammatory and non-inflammatory lesions. Typically, acne symptoms include comedones, such as congested pores, blackheads, whiteheads and milia, as well as inflammatory spots, pimples, pustules, and more severe acne such as nodulocystic acne. Such symptoms can lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring.

The presentation of the various acne lesions is graded from 1 to 4, starting with comedones to nodulocystic acne symptoms.

Acne is primarily present on the face, although it can also affect the upper arms, chest, back, and shoulders.

Although acne is not a fatal skin disease, acne-prone skin can be a challenge to manage, with breakouts and blemishes often affecting one’s self-confidence. Acne can be a source of significant psychological distress for many individuals. It can be especially difficult for adolescents at an already sensitive time of their lives.

Women transitioning through the stages of menopause can also be affected by acne at a time which is changeable, challenging and emotional.  Women experiencing painful periods and PCOS symptoms are also affected emotionally by acne symptoms.

Causes of Acne
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of acne, including:

Hormonal Changes
Androgen hormones, such as testosterone, stimulate the production of sebum, the oily substance that lubricates the skin. Androgen levels increase during puberty, which is why acne can be prevalent in teenagers and young adults.

Hormonal fluctuations in women during the menstrual cycle, the first 3 months of their pregnancy, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), peri menopause and menopause can also trigger acne symptoms.

Cutibacterium acnes (C acnes) is a type of bacteria that normally lives on the surface of the skin. C acnes can multiply in individuals with a predisposition to acne. The over production of the C acnes contributes to the inflammation, redness, and infection associated with acne lesions.

Skin Cell Acceleration
Excess skin cells are also present in individuals with a predisposition to acne. The dead skin cells and sebum can build up and clog the skin’s pores, creating an environment where C acnes can thrive.

Acne is more common in people with a family history of the condition.

The use of certain medications may also influence the development and progression of acne.

Excess Hair Growth
Acne can be exacerbated by the presence of persistent excess hair growing in the follicles, which can trap bacteria and dead skin cells.

Psychological Stress
Psychological Stress triggers hormone fluctuations, which in turn stimulates the progression of activity acne.

Mechanical Trauma
Individuals with a predisposition to acne may experience more acne symptoms with the application of harsh scrubbing on the skin.

Skin Microbiome Imbalance
The use of soaps and detergents can strip and disturb the carefully balanced skin microbiome, thus can contribute to acne symptoms.

Oil-based cosmetics
The use of oil-based cosmetics can contribute to the clogging of the skin’s pores, with the development of comedones and inflammatory acne symptoms.

The increase in milk consumption and high glycaemic diets are also associated with acne. Poor diet choices compromise the immune system, the healing ability becomes impaired, leading to spots staying for longer and increasing in severity.

Sleep deprivation, lack of exercise or movement, too much alcohol consumption, smoking, lots of air travel, and a generally poor lifestyle can affect the equilibrium of the body, which can contribute to acne symptoms.

Treatment of Acne
For optimum results acne is best treated holistically, that is treating the person as a whole rather than treating the specific condition in isolation.

The management of acne, regardless of its severity, should commence with a comprehensive consultation and skin analysis. This appointment should encompass discussions about the nature of the disease, proper skincare practices, an overview of lifestyle and diet, with realistic treatment expectations.

Seek a professional, experienced skin aesthetician to carry out such an assessment. They can provide guidance for the treatment most suited to your skin’s needs. Your skin aesthetician may need to refer to a doctor or dermatologist in cases where medical interventions are required.

A proactive approach can lead to fewer blemishes and a clearer complexion over time.

Long-term maintenance treatment is often necessary because most acne treatments are considered suppressive and not curative, particularly in an individual with a predisposition to acne.

Responses to a treatment may vary from each individual. Therefore, it may be necessary to make adjustments over time to the treatment regimen, to optimise both the tolerability and efficacy of the treatment.

There are a number of treatments available for acne, depending on the severity of the skin disease.

The primary treatment for mild acne could be over-the-counter topical treatments, which typically contain ingredients such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These help to kill bacteria and remove dead skin cells.

The treatment approach for more moderate acne could also be over-the-counter topical treatments, which typically contain ingredients such as, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, and in addition prescription topical medications such as medical strength retinoids and antibiotics.

The treatment approach for more severe acne could involve over-the-counter topical treatments, which typically contain ingredients such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, and in addition prescribed oral medications such as antibiotics and Isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is a powerful medication, which is reserved for the most severe cases of acne due to serious side effects.

The in-clinic treatment of acne, regardless of its severity, should include skin exfoliation, such as Micro-dermabrasion, Chemical Skin Peels and Blemiderm Acne Skin Peels including ingredients such as retinoids and salicylic acid, Green Peel® Herbal Peeling with specific natural herbs. These treatments help to regulate the bacteria and dead skin cell build up. A cleansing treatment which includes Steam and Pore Extraction, contributes to unplugging the skin’s pores.

Individuals who have experienced post inflammatory hyper pigmentation as a result of acne breakouts, would also benefit from Chemical Skin Peels that contain ingredients such as azelaic acid and vitamin C.

Laser Skin Care treatments and Mpen Micro-needling are excellent treatment options to reduce scarring.

In the cases of excess hair growth Laser Hair Removal can reduce the hair growth, and thus help to minimise acne symptoms.

With over 35+ years, The Emporium Treatment Clinic senior aesthetician, Angela is able to help you to take the appropriate measures. So why not pop in and visit us in Marylebone, London, if you feel you need a consultation.

Here’s more from Angela on the topic to Minimise Acne:

  • Avoid harsh cleansers.
  • Seek a cleanser with a similar PH to the skin (4.5-5.5).
  • Wash your face twice a day with a cleanser.
  • Avoid picking at pimples. This can worsen inflammation and lead to scarring.
  • Use oil-free products such as gels and fluids.
  • Select non-comedogenic skin products to avoid blocking the pores.
  • Apply Azelaic Acid to reduce post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Use a clean face cloth/towel every day.
  • Wash your make-up brushes regularly.
  • Limit your intake of dairy, processed foods, sugary foods and drinks.
  • Eat a nutritious, varied and balanced diet to support overall health and the immune system.
  • Manage stress to regulate the hormones and support the immune system.
  • Seek a healthy lifestyle.
  • Supplement your health and skin with Antioxidants, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Vitamin D, Super Greens, Milk Thistle, Synerbio Daily High Strength pre and probiotic to name but a few. Emporium Treatment Clinic experts highly recommend the ‘Viridian’ brand for quality and purity

Shop For Viridian Supplements Here

Expert Advisors
Here at Emporium Treatment Clinic in Marylebone, we provide expert advice in skincare for home use or professional in-clinic treatments.

In addition to the Emporium Treatment Clinic core practice, selected elite independent practitioners provide an array of health, nutrition & wellness services and treatments.

Our team of experts combine a wealth of knowledge, and have collaborated to provide the ultimate synergy of diverse strategies to provide you not only with a clearer, glowing complexion but, most importantly, to nurture health and well-being from within.


acne before and after treatment

    Click Below For More Useful Reads:

    ‘Adrenal Acne – Effects Of Stress’

    ‘Why Cleansing Your Skin Is Essential’

    ‘Is Daily Exfoliation Safe For The Skin’

    ‘Exfoliate Types Explained’

    ‘Skin Exfoliation Explained’

    ‘Healthy Skin Diet Do’s & Don’ts’


    Contact Angela For A Free Chat

    07930 661971

    Why not look at our latest treatment offer here!


      Author: Angela Taffinder the founder of Emporium Treatment Clinic. A practising Aesthetician for 35+ years, holistic and wellbeing advocate and yoga instructor. The creator of Yoga & Vitality.

      Skin Care & Body Analysis & Consultation
      Available at Emporium Treatment Clinic provided by Angela Taffinder the founder of Emporium Treatment Clinic and practising Aesthetician for 35+ years

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      Health & Wellness Analysis & Consultation
      Available at Emporium Treatment Clinic provided by highly qualified, experienced Doctors, Nutritionist, Holistic Medicine practitioners and Wellness experts.

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