My approach to acne


This is such a common problem. As dermatologists, we see a LOT of acne! I’m writing this post with my wriggly 7 month old boy on my lap and even he has acne….infantile acne that is! Acne is one of those conditions that truly can affect a wide cross section of people. I’ve treated babies, teens and the middle aged! It is one of the pesky conditions that just won’t behave when you want it to!

Treatments for acne can range from creams and lotions, to oral tablets and adjunct cosmetic treatments such as good skin care (with ingredients such as AHAs, niacinamide, vitamin A), laser, skin needling and peels etc. Each patient with acne will have a different treatment regime as not all acne is the same. There may be different triggers of acne for different people including stress, diet, environment, hormones and genetics and often taking a detailed history is essential to try and minimise any external triggers for acne. Topical treatments may include antiseptic washes, antibiotic lotions and vitamin A creams. Each of these topicals has a different mechanism of action on acne. Similarly, oral tablets include oral antibiotics, hormonal therapies and vitamin A tablets (isotretinoin is dermatologist-only prescribed in Australia).

Any acne treatment typically takes about 1 – 2 months for patients to really start seeing the difference. Our approach is get patients with acne into our clinic quickly, initiate treatment and to promptly alter acne treatment regimes if there is minimal or no response as we want to get acne under control FAST to minimise the risk of scarring.

Hope this helps clarify the overall approach to acne in our clinic!