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Everything you need to know

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the UK which affects most people at some point in their lives. Acne affects more than 80% of teenagers as children transition into adolescence and their hormones come under drastic change, affecting the skin in the process.

The severity and longevity of the acne condition varies. For many, acne only lasts for a short time during puberty when hormone levels are changing, however for some, the effects of acne last much longer and can bring pain, scarring, and embarrassment.

If you have already tried over the counter remedies and spoken to your pharmacist for advice on acne treatment or acne scar treatment, but your acne is still causing you problems, we can help. Our dermatology experts at Stratum Dermatology Clinics have a wealth of experience in the management of all types of acne in both children and adults, as well as the assessment and treatment of acne scarring.

Our acne clinics across Oxford, Cheltenham and Wimbledon and Raynes Park see hundreds of patients each month and we pride ourselves on our successful and comprehensive range of treatments, including both medical and surgical in the form of micro-needling and chemical peels. This allows you to choose what’s best for you to clear your skin and regain your confidence. During your consultation, our dermatologists will advise on the most appropriate acne treatment option for you. Book a consultation with our acne experts at one of our Stratum Dermatology Clinics today.

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There are a wide range of acne treatments available depending on the severity and location of your acne. We will often recommend a staged acne treatment plan over a period of time, where each stage will produce an incremental improvement in your acne. Combined, these treatments will produce a worthwhile, sustained improvement. Your expert dermatology consultant will explain all of your treatment options and help you to decide the best programme for you.

The first line of treatment is usually to suppress the inflammation until the acne disappears as very often acne will get better itself as part of the natural healing process. Treatment may involve lotions or tablets such as antibiotics or hormone suppression in the form of a contraceptive pill for females. These treatments work by either reducing the number of bacteria on the skin or removing dead skin cells which help to unblock hair follicles which have become plugged. These treatments can take a couple of months before results are seen so it is important to be patient and follow the treatment course even if no immediate results are visible.

In more severe, chronic cases of acne, stronger medications can bring excellent results with a good chance of permanent resolution. In these cases, scarring can also become a feature. At Stratum Dermatology Clinics we offer a range of treatments to help not only the acne, but also acne scars. Microdermabrasion and chemical peels both work to gently remove the outer layer of the skin to stimulate new skin growth which helps to reduce oil, unblock pores, reduce blackheads and minimise acne breakouts.  Laser treatments and IPL can be used to kill bacteria in the skin, and to reduce the production of sebum from the sebaceous glands in the skin which cause acne. Fractional laser resurfacing can also be used to treat the scars which acne leaves behind. Medical skin needling using the skin pen or dermaroller treat acne scars through stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in smoother skin after treatment.

Get a free acne assessment with Stratum Dermatology Clinics


acne scar treatment


treating acne as well as acne scar treatment

During your consultation, all your treatment options will be discussed and your dermatologist will advise on the most suitable treatment for you. Find out more information on the common ways acne can be treated below:


Microdermabrasion is a skin exfoliating treatment which can be used to treat acne and improve the appearance of the skin. It gets rid of acne and scarring by gently removing the outer layer of skin using tiny crystals, leaving the skin looking softer, brighter and stimulating new cell growth. It is great for treating both acne and acne scars. It is a safe and effective procedure which is suitable for both men and women of all skin types. Each treatment takes approximately 45 minutes and a course of 3-6 treatments is usually recommended.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels work to gently remove the outer layer of the skin. This stimulates new skin growth which helps to reduce oil, unblock pores, reduce blackheads and minimise acne breakouts. There are varying levels of chemical peel available. The superficial peel is the mildest form and is used to minimise acne breakouts by reducing blackheads, oiliness and unblocking pores. Medium chemical peels penetrate the skin deeper and are effective in reducing the appearance of acne scars.


Intense pulsed light treats redness and thread veins which are commonly associated with acne and acne rosacea. This treatment works by using a powerful light that destroys the bacteria that causes acne as well as removing blood vessels which cause redness. This is a safe and non-invasive treatment and a course is recommended.

Learn more about IPL >>

Medical Skin Needling

Medical skin needling through the use of the SkinPen treats acne scars through stimulating the production of collagen and elastin, resulting in smoother skin after treatment. Tiny sterile probes puncture the skin in order to induce the production of collagen. The probes enter the skin vertically without tearing or scratching the tissue, this triggers a wound healing response and new cells to be formed. Visible signs of improvement will be seen 6-8 weeks after treatment and continue for up to a year. A course of 3-5 sessions at 6-8 week intervals is usually recommended.

Dermalux LED Phototherapy

Dermalux ® LED Phototherapy is a multi-award winning treatment that combines clinically proven wavelengths of light delivered at therapeutic doses to naturally stimulate skin rejuvenation and resolve problem skin conditions. It is a non-invasive and pain free treatment option suitable for all skin types which has proven results in the treatment of acne. The light wavelengths activate cellular renewal and repair, fuel the manufacture of collagen and elastin, reduce inflammation and destroy acne causing bacteria. A course of treatment is advised.

Fractional Laser Resurfacing

Fractional laser resurfacing is great to treat acne scars. The treatment rejuvenates the skin by using a laser to deliver small micro-beams to the skin which creates tiny columns of treated tissue amongst the healthy tissue to promote healthy looking skin.

N-LITE Laser

The Nlite laser has been described as the most significant advancement in acne treatment for over 20 years and it has prolonged results. Nlite stimulates collagen production, kills bacteria and reduces the production of sebum from sebaceous glands in the skin.

Skin Boosters

Skin boosters are tiny injections of dermal fillers which are used to hydrate the skin and improve the skins quality. What makes them different to other injectables is that they are injected into the skin rather than underneath the skin.

Minor Surgery

In some rare cases, minor surgery in the form of subcision or excision of scars and cysts can be used as a treatment. This surgical treatment removes troublesome cysts if other treatment has not worked.


Subcision or “subcutaneous incisionless surgery” is used for the treatment of rolling scars or depressed atrophic scars. Rolling scars are caused by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin. Rolling scars create an indentation in the skin that looks like a wave, due to its wide size and shallow depth. Atrophic scars are flat, thin or depressed scars. This treatment works by disconnecting the fibrotic strands that tether the skin releasing it and smoothing the surface. The injury is below the surface and induces connective fibre formation below the skin’s surface.

Punch Excision

This is used to treat mild ice pick scars. Ice pick scars are small deep holes in the surface of the skin which look like the skin has puncture marks from a sharp object. The scar is surgically removed and the remaining wound sealed. After the wound heals, it leaves a smoother and more even area of skin.


Arrange a consultation with one of our expert dermatologists today.



We offer acne treatment and acne scar treatment in all our three Stratum Clinics, find out more about the different acne treatments we offer at each clinic below.

Acne Treatment at Stratum Dermatology Clinic Cheltenham

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Acne Treatment at Stratum Dermatology Clinic Oxford

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Acne Treatment at Stratum Dermatology Clinic Wimbledon and Raynes Park

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Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the UK, and we know how much acne and acne scars can damage self-confidence.  As an expert dermatology clinic, we pride ourselves on our successful and comprehensive range of skin and acne treatments, which are tailored to you as an individual and will allow you to gain your confidence back.

We work with leading experts in the field of dermatology to ensure you have the best experience and treatment. Stratum Dermatology Clinics are regulated by the Care Quality Commission, are part of the British Association of Dermatologists and are top rated by patients on Doctify so you can assure safe and effective acne treatment with us. Both Stratum Dermatology Clinics and the consultants who work here are recognised by the main healthcare insurance providers.

Hear from one of our Acne patients

I am so pleased that I chose to treat my acne at Stratum Dermatology Clinic. The staff were really friendly and empathetic to my situation and the procedure itself was quick, easy and painless. My skin is now perfectly clear and I feel a million times more confident! Thank you!

Had Microdermabrasion Acne Treatment

Happy male after checking his skin via a dermatologist


  • There is no guaranteed medical or surgical way to completely remove ace. Most acne treatment programmes help reduce and substantially improve acne over time
  • There are six different types of acne spots that can occur throughout the development of your acne
  • Certain beauty products that contain oils can cause flare-ups with your acne
  • UV rays from the sin and vitamin D can help to minimize acne breakouts
  • Toothpaste does not help to reduce or remove acne


Will acne go away on its own?

Acne affects most people at some point during their lives and will usually go away on its own, usually during teenage years. If acne is still prevalent in adulthood, treatment may be needed to help to control acne or to help reduce acne scarring.

Can acne be cured?

Yes it can. While most cases of acne get better of time, for more severe disease which hasn’t responded to to simple medical measures, cure is a possibility. Stronger medications can bring about permanent resolution in many cases of acne so if you are concerned about your ongoing acne, get in touch to day.

Are acne scars permanent?

Scars are part of the skin’s natural healing process after it has been damaged and in the case of acne, are caused acne cysts, often worsened by patients picking at spots on the face. Most acne scars will improve over time, however for persistent scarring, we offer a range of treatments to reduce the appearance of scarring such as fractional laser resurfacing and medical skin needling.

What can I do to help my acne?

Things you can do yourself to help clear up acne include:

Washing the face once or twice a day with a mild soap and warm water. It is important not to over wash the face as this can irritate the skin.

Wash your hair regularly and keep it off your face

Try not to wear too much make up and make sure it is completely removed before going to bed.

Should I be squeezing my spots?

No. Squeezing spots can cause long lasting scarring.

Does toothpaste help to clear spots?

It is not recommended to put toothpaste on your spots to help get rid of them. Even though toothpaste is anti-bacterial, it also contains substances which can damage or irritate your skin, making acne symptoms worse. Book a consultation with one of our expert dermatologists who can advise you on the right treatment for your skin.


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