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The London Dermatology Centre

Acne Clinic in London

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Acne Clinic

The Leading Acne Clinic in London

Acne is almost a universal condition, affecting nearly every teenager at some stage. When it progresses beyond the occasional pimple or extends into later life, we consider it a medical condition. There are many types of acne, and assessment by a dermatologist at our acne clinic in London ensures that the most appropriate treatment is prescribed, tailored specifically to your condition. Our treatments include specialised face washes, gels, and creams; systemic treatments (tablets) such as antibiotics, hormonal treatments, and medications that can only be prescribed by a dermatologist; as well as laser therapy and medical microdermabrasion.


Why choose our dermatology clinic for your acne treatment?

We understand the significant impact acne can have on your life. While standard skin clinics may offer limited help, our expertise and specialised knowledge enable us to bring about positive changes for you and your skin.

As a leading acne clinic in London, our consultant dermatologists specialise in acne treatment, offering the most advanced and thorough private acne care. Our team's experience spans various specialities and innovative solutions. We can match you with the specialist best suited to your unique needs. Acne is treatable. By working together, we can develop a personalised and effective treatment plan for you. Simply contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey to clearer, healthier skin.


What is acne?

Acne is the most common skin disease and affects 80% of all people at some time between age 11-30 years. It begins from age 10-13 at a time when a child is undergoing puberty. It therefore can have far-reaching psychological consequences as well as result in scarring and permanent disfigurement. Acne most commonly affects the face and can often affect the back and chest. There are many types of acne spots. The most common red spots are known as papules which can be tender. Pustules are similar to papules but contain pus and so appear to have a white tip in the centre. Blackheads and whiteheads are also types of acne, these are called comedones. More severe acne can result in nodules which are hard lumps that develop under the skin and be painful as well as cysts which are the most severe type of acne spot. Cysts are large, contain pus and are the most likely type of acne to cause scarring.

dr lathika

What causes acne?

There are several factors that contribute to the development of acne. These mainly relate to the oil-producing glands in the face, called pilosebaceous glands. These glands produce sebum and are sensitive to hormone levels in the blood, which can lead to overproduction of oil. Excess oil and dead skin cells can block the glands, causing a buildup of oil. This leads to the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. A blackhead is an open comedone; this clogged pore is open at the surface of the skin and darkens upon exposure to oxygen, resulting in the characteristic black dot appearance. A whitehead, on the other hand, is a closed comedone. The pore is clogged like a blackhead but is closed, appearing as a small white bump.

dr sunil chopra

Another main cause of acne is the overgrowth of the bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). P. acnes lives on everyone’s skin and usually does not cause any problems. However, in individuals prone to acne, excess oil creates an ideal environment for this bacteria to multiply. The overgrowth of bacteria leads to inflammation, which causes the papules and pustules (the characteristic red and pink acne spots).

Hormonal changes can also trigger acne, occurring during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, as well as from hormonal changes caused by medications like the contraceptive pill.

Can Acne run in families

Can acne run in families?

Acne often runs in families, suggesting a strong genetic basis. Research, including significant studies on twins in the US, Australia, and the UK, indicates that genetics account for up to 81% of acne cases. For example, in a study of 400 UK twin pairs, nearly half of the twins with acne had a sibling also affected. Genetic influences are evident in sebum production characteristics and possibly linked to variations in androgen or apolipoprotein levels. This genetic predisposition means that acne can frequently be seen in successive generations within families, highlighting the substantial role that genetics play in the condition.

skin colours

Are there any differences in acne between different skin colours?

There is significant variation in the incidence of acne worldwide. South-Eastern Asians, for instance, tend to have less sebaceous gland activity, resulting in lower levels of acne that are also less severe.

Patients with black skin are more likely to develop whiteheads, while those with white skin are more prone to inflammatory acne, typically forming papules and pustules. Additionally, black-skinned patients may develop keloid scars in response to inflammatory acne, which can lead to scarring and disfigurement.

A specific type of comedonal acne, known as Pomade Acne, is very common among black patients. It results from the application of waxes, greases, and oils to the hair, which blocks pilosebaceous ducts and promotes comedogenesis. Patients suffering from this type of acne should ideally stop using such products on their hair.

part of the body

What part of the body does acne affect?

Acne typically appears in areas of the body where sebaceous glands are most densely populated. These areas include the forehead, cheeks, chin, as well as the upper chest and upper back. The concentration of these glands in these specific regions makes them more prone to the development of acne.

part of the body

The T-Zone: This aptly named zone encompasses the forehead, nose, and chin. It boasts the highest concentration of sebaceous glands, making it a prime target for breakouts. The constant oil production and potential for sweat and dirt buildup further contribute to congestion in this area.

The Upper Back and Chest: These areas also have a high density of sebaceous glands. Friction from clothing can irritate them, leading to inflammation and breakouts. Tight-fitting clothes or sweaty workouts can exacerbate the problem.

The Shoulders and Arms: While less common, acne can also appear on the shoulders and upper arms. These areas have sebaceous glands, and sweat or tight-fitting clothing can potentially clog pores, creating breakouts.

It's important to remember that acne doesn't always follow the script. Areas with fewer sebaceous glands, like the cheeks and neck, can still experience breakouts due to hormonal fluctuations or certain medications.

acne treatment

Does acne go away on its own?

Early treatment of acne is essential for the prevention of lasting cosmetic disfigurement associated with scarring and treatment depends on what type of acne is present. Acne scarring can be a result of any type and any severity of acne. Picking and squeezing spots can also damage surrounding skin and increase the risk of scarring. Acne scarring can be distressing for patients, leading to lack of self-confidence and even depression. Here at our acne treatment clinic in London, we offer a variety of treatments to help patients improve their acne scars and gain more confidence in their appearance.

Comedonal (whiteheads and blackheads) acne

Comedonal Acne

This form of acne is very common in pre-teenage or early teenage years. Treatment at this stage may prevent further development of the acne: topical tretinoin or adaptalene used once daily at night. We prefer to use retinoids at night as they can photosensitize the skin, making it more sensitive to the sun and therefore are best washed off in the morning before going into sunshine. Topical retinoids are effective against whiteheads and blackheads and may also benefit patients with increased pigmentation. Salicylic acid up to 2% in numerous formulations may be used as an anticomedone treatment and mild anti-inflammatory agent. Azelaic acid formulations can also be effective.

Inflammatory Acne

Inflammatory Acne

Mild inflammatory acne may be treated with either 5-10% benzoyl peroxide alone or combined with erythromycin. This treatment is ideal as it represents the most effective topical antimicrobial therapy. Topical clindamycin and erythromycin are also effective and can be used twice daily. More severe inflammatory acne will require systemic antibiotics such as tetracycline and erythromycin and its derivatives minocycline, doxycycline, or a combination of trimethoprim plus sulfamethoxazole. Systemic (oral) retinoids in the form of isotretinoin are the treatment of choice for severe cases.


Isotretinoin is a very effective treatment for acne but can only be prescribed by a dermatologist. You will need to be monitored while on the medication, and it is not suitable for pregnant women. Most patients see a vast improvement in their acne, with 80% of people achieving clear skin after four months. It can cause your skin to become dry and sensitive to sunlight. Your dermatologist will advise you on how to manage any side effects from the medication.

Hormonal therapy can be very effective in female patients with acne, regardless of whether their serum androgens are abnormal. The most commonly used treatment is cyproterone acetate combined with an estrogen.

Dr Ien Chan

How can we help treat your acne?

Our dermatologists have many years of experience in treating acne. They understand how difficult and frustrating dealing with persistent acne can be. Every consultation begins with your dermatologist discussing your acne, the length of time it has been present, and the treatments you have tried in the past, as well as the impact on your day-to-day life. They will also examine the affected areas to assess the best treatment for your skin.

Whether you’re suffering from teenage acne, hormonal breakouts, menopausal acne or adult acne, we can help find the best treatment plan for you. We treat all types of acne including severe, cystic, fungal, or more moderate/ mild cases.

dr sunil-chopra

We have many different treatment options available, including topical creams, lasers, and medications. Unlike your GP, we are able to prescribe stronger medications such as Isotretinoin, which can be an extremely effective solution for permanently clearing acne in the majority of patients.

As a leading acne clinic in London, we also offer treatments for reducing any scarring that may have occurred and may suggest a combination of therapies to help get your acne under control.

Acne can be an exceedingly difficult condition to treat, and although we cannot guarantee to completely eliminate every patient’s acne, we have an extremely high success rate of achieving clear skin in the majority of cases.

follow up

How are we different from visiting your GP?

All our dermatologists specialise in treating acne and possess more in-depth knowledge of the skin and the causes of acne than other medical professionals. As a specialist private acne clinic in London, we can provide options that GPs may not be able to offer, such as isotretinoin, laser treatments, and acne scarring reduction.

Our Location

Positioned at 69 Wimpole Street, within Marylebone’s Harley Medical District, central London, our acne treatment clinic offers outstanding accessibility.

The clinic enjoys has transport links and numerous local facilities, guaranteeing a straightforward and convenient visit to The London Dermatology Centre.

Public transport users can disembark at Bond Street Station for a short 7-minute stroll. Alternatively, Oxford Circus and Baker Street Stations are just a 10-minute walk. For drivers, street parking is readily available.

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 9.00 AM - 5.30 PM
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

Our Location

69 Wimpole Street,
London W1G 8AS.

Need help with your acne?

If you have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation, please fill out the contact form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. The dedicated team of dermatologists at our acne clinic in London is committed to offering you the highest level of care and the most effective treatment options. We look forward to helping you achieve clearer, healthier skin.

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