What is facial acne?

Acne, in general, is caused by a buildup of sebum oil, produced by the sebum gland, dead skin cells and bacteria clogging the hair follicles within your skin pores. However, back acne breakouts have different causes of facial acne. If your skin has high ph levels, (typically above 6.5) causing the skin to become dry and tight, irritated, dehydrated. Dryness of the skin is something that can cause acne, however, this will likely be attributed to one of these main factors for causing acne breakouts:

Hormones Causing Acne

As your body goes through puberty and changes biologically, your hormones increase and this can increase the production of sebum oil and general oil on the skin. Naturally, this increases the change of pore blockages and acne breakouts on the face.

Your Diet Causing Acne

Yes, your diet can cause acne breakouts. Specifically, research has found dairy products with a high glycemic index and high in sugars tend to cause acne breakouts. Further research by the NLM suggests that due to cows being treated with hormones, these filter through into dairy products and impact our production of hormones, having an indirect effect on our acne and skin.

Medication Causing Acne

Medicines that impact your homes such as birth control during pregnancy or corticosteroids are known to have an impact on acne on our skin. This is because birth control with androgens can increase acne production on the skin.

Large fungal acne on skin | Acne dermatologist clinic | Stratum Dermatology Clinic
acne scar treatment
Acne on face | Acne treatment services


Acne is acne, regardless of where it is on the body. There are differences between facial acne and back acne. Typically, these include where the acne is on the body and bacteria vs sweat for example.

There are two types of acne spots, these are:

Cystic Acne

Cystic acne is where the acne penetrates deeper into the skin, causing white pus-filled cysts on the skin.

Bacterial Acne

Bacterial acne is caused by bacteria on general dirt on the skin, causing plugged pores and small ‘blackheads’ to appear.

The difference between facial acne and back acne is ever so slight. Both are the accumulation of dead skin cells and overproduced sebum oil clogging pores, however, for back acne, cutibacterium, a common skin bacteria contributes to causing back acne inflammation.

Back acne often occurs in a specific area of the back, whereas facial acne tends to spread across the circumference of the face. This can be a result of the sweat on your back in certain areas causing isolated bouts of acne in concentrated areas on the back.


Most acne treatments can be used both for facial and back acne. For back acne, the first port of call might be to use a topical retinoid and other lotions to disable the acne. In other instances, facial acne may require a facial care routine, using cleansers with antibacterial properties such as salicylic acids, along with moisturisers that include adapalene.

Typically, both forms of acne will require similar treatments such as hormonal balancing medication or chemical peels. The choice of which is dependent on your dermatologists. Depending on your acne location, the type of acne you have and the general condition of your skin, you’ll find your acne specialist will put together a treatment programme based on the right type of medical acne treatments that are the best acne treatments to solve your acne condition.


You should always visit an acne dermatologist if you are suffering from your acne. This is not simply a case of seeing a dermatologist for an acne treatment programme and moving on, but also understanding what might be causing your acne and receiving advice on how to better manage your acne over time.

The best acne clinics will have qualified dermatologists that have experience in both the treatment of acne, but also managing the emotional and mental impacts of acne. The goal of treating acne is not only to remove the acne but also to help to rebuild your confidence in your skin and yourself as a whole. Great dermatologists help you to achieve this.

For more information on how to treat your acne, please contact us for a consultation. In the meantime, you may benefit from taking a free acne assessment to better understand your current acne and the next steps to help you improve your acne.


[templatera id=”3455″]


Please fill in this form and one of our team will give you a call back to arrange a consultation with one of our expert dermatologists.