Acne is a troublesome skin disease, which can often be treated with the right medicine. Acne is a common name for a number of skin diseases, all of which are due to inflammation of the skin’s sebaceous glands. It is, therefore, not, as many believe, a very extensive outbreak of acne. Blackheads are also a form of acne, and in fact, blackheads must be part of the problem before diagnosis can be made.

Impure skin, regardless of what shape, can be an extremely annoying condition, and many feel that acne makes them less attractive. Usually, the face and back pimples or spots are something that can be very difficult to get rid of. At the same time it can be very painful if the skin is very tender or it has developed into cysts and knot-like tissues. In the worst case, you can get very ugly scars that are not easy to get rid of.

Fortunately, most types of acne can be treated with either creams, tablet treatments or hormone treatments.

What’s on this page:

What is acne?

Most people will experience acne at either mild or severe degree in puberty. Since the hormone balance changes, which means that both girls and boys get increased content of hormones. It is especially the male sex hormone testosterone that is important for the development of the condition. The increased hormone amount stimulates the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, which is a form of skin fat.1

At the same time as the production of sebum rises, it becomes harder for the glands to get rid of fat because the outputs become narrower. Dead skin cells can therefore easily stop the sebaceous glands and create blackheads. The skin can then develop into infected acne.

This condition is hereditary and if your parents have had many problems with unclean skin in their youth, there is a greater risk that you will also be having trouble. On the other hand, it has nothing to do with being dirty or unhealthy. It is pure hormone-based, and therefore many will also find that the condition becomes milder with age at which hormone levels stabilize.

Acne on the back

There is a slight difference between acne on the face and back, which means that the way we treat infected areas should also be treated differently. The condition on the back looks like facial acne by the symptoms and causes, but the treatment is different. The skin on the back has bigger pores than the face, which means that they are far more likely to be blocked by impurities.

Sometimes large sore cysts can develop on the back. The skin affected by this can feel sore by touching, feeling warm, or being painful.

Acne on the back can vary. Grade 1, usually consists of a few blisters and may include blackheads and acne. Grade 4 is severe and is characterised by many acne or cysts.

Acne on the face

The skin on the face has small holes called pores that can be blocked by oil, bacteria, dead skin cells and dirt. When this happens, you can develop impurities and pimples. If your skin is repeatedly affected by this condition, you may be affected by acne.

Although acne is not a life threatening condition, it can be painful, especially when it’s serious. It can also cause uncertainty in social contexts. Outbreaks that appear in the face can affect self-esteem and over time can cause permanent scarring on the face.

Adult acne

More than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women. It is believed that many cases of adult outbreaks are caused by changes in hormone levels.

Face wash that helped fight off pimples 10 or 15 years ago may not be what helps now. As we grow older, the skin becomes drier so you may need to use milder products. You may also consider using tailored products for the cause of the outbreaks, you can consult your GP or a dermatologist for more advice on a potential treatment.

Hormonal acne

Hormonal acne occurs frequently when changes in hormone levels occur in the body, which can often happen in women who take birth control pills, are pregnant or undergoing another formes of hormonal change.

Some of these include:

  • Period – in some women it may flare up acne just before they expect their monthly period
  • Pregnancy – Many women have symptoms of acne at this time, usually in the first three months of pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome – a common condition that can cause acne, weight gain and the formation of small cysts in the ovary

Acne caused by stress

Anyone who has this condition knows that acne can cause stress. But medical researchers have also shown that stress causes acne.

The reason why stress causes acne may be that the brain and skin both produce the same stress-related hormone that causes an inflammation. Stress affects thyroid gland response to thyroid stimulating hormone, and low levels of thyroid hormone make the skin more vulnerable to potential inflammation.


The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, although a number of possible factors have been suggested:

  • exposure to sunlight
  • stress
  • hard workouts
  • hot or cold weather
  • warm drink
  • alcohol and caffeine
  • certain foods like spicy foods
  • Genetics

It is possible that a combination of these factors may be responsible for the condition, although there is not enough evidence to say this for sure.

Some of the most important factors suggested can be found on our main page about Rosacea.

Acne and pimples

Acne may have different appearance and design in the skin. It can go from a mild stage of blackheads to a very troublesome cyst and highly inflamed skin. Here is an overview of the different stages:


At the mild end of the skin you will find blackheads, which can be both open and black or closed and white. Most people will experience blackheads at some point in life or as a constant irritation of the skin. Closed blackheads can feel like small growths in the skin, while open blackheads can be seen as black spots. Blackheads are caused by dead skin cells that mix with the skin’s oils. When they reach the surface of the skin and blend with oxygen, the black color may occur. The color is not due to dirt, and therefore it can not be washed away.


Blackheads can develop into infected acne. Most people know what it’s like to have a pimple on the nose, but for some, the skin might always be covered by pimples.

Pimples can either appear as red buds in the skin, or they may develop into yellow acne. Pimples can sit in different places on the body, but are most common in the face and on the chest. Some also develop acne on the back.


Acne can develop into cysts that can cause skin thickeners that may contain a sweet and slim secretion. These cysts can again develop into continuous cysts or bladders that can cause very tender and irritated skin. This type often causes subsequent scars because the skin is damaged.

It can also be a very painful condition, as the skin can get very sore and inflamed.

How to get rid of acne

First and foremost, it is important that you seek a doctor or dermatologist if you have problems with this condition to get the right and proper treatment. In addition, there are some things you can do to get a beautiful and clean skin.

Do not peel or squeeze the pigs. It will only make it worse.
Do not use greasy creams or make-up. This can cause the glands to tightly even more. Instead, use water-based skin care products.
Wash the skin with a mild soap twice a day. Avoid scrubbing or rub the skin as it only worsens the symptoms.
Avoid having hair hanging in your face and make sure your hair is not greasy. Avoid using a hood or other headpiece that may blemish the skin and make it greasy.

Acne scars

Scares is formed when the eruptions penetrate the skin deeply and destroy the tissue under the skin.

Before trying to treat your scars, it is important to know what kind of scars you have. Each type responds differently to treatment, and some treatments are better for certain types than others. Therefore, we always recommend consulting a professional or general practitioner for advice before starting any kind of treatment.

Treatments for acne

Acne can be mentally tough to live with, as it is often the face, chest and back that are affected. It is therefore a condition that you should consider to treat, as there are often very good treatment options. Depending on the severity of unclean skin and what gender you are, there are different treatment methods on the market.

Local cream treatment

If you have a relatively mild form of unclean skin that appears to be blackheads and pimples, a local active cream may be the solution. There are different types of creams that can help open the sebaceous glands while inhibiting the bacteria that help to develop acne. One of the most used products is Skinoren. It may take some time before treatment begins to work. Often you can see results after 4-6 weeks.

Acne and diet

Eating low-glycemic foods made from complex carbohydrates can reduce the risk of developing acne. Try combining foods that include lots of vitamins in a healthy diet plan as well as fresh air, good exercise and a good skin care regime, and see if they make a difference.

Acne medicine

Consult your doctor if a deterioration occurs, as you probably need prescription medications. If you have severe outbreaks, your doctor may refer you to an acne (dermatologist) treatment specialist.

Prescription drugs that can be used to treat acne include:

  • current retinoids
  • current antibiotics
  • azelaic
  • antibiotics tablets
  • in women, the combined oral contraceptive pill
  • isotretinoin tablets
  • Acne supplements

If you are a woman and very bothered by outbreaks, some types of contraceptives may reduce the problem. This is because some contraceptives counteract the male sex hormone, which is the cause of increased sebum production. At the same time, the pill will protect against unwanted pregnancy, and this treatment method is therefore ideal for women who are already seeking a form of contraception. An often used pill treatment for severe cases of unclean skin is Diane Mite.

Antibiotics against acne

If local cream treatments are not enough to control acne problems and pills are not an option, long term antibiotic treatment can be a solution. These may include tetracycline antibiotics, such as tetralysal. This should not be used by pregnant women or children under the age of 12. It will often take some time for treatment to take effect, so you need patience.

Tetralysal (tetracycline) acne

Tetralysal contains the active substance lymecycline, which belongs to the group of tetracyclines. It is a type of antibiotic that can affect a wide range of bacteria and microorganisms. The active substance is absorbed into the intestinal mucosa and then absorbed into the blood.

The treatment works by inhibiting certain types of bacterial metabolism, which causes stopping growth. In this way, the drug can be used to stop the development of the bacteria that give acne in the form of blackheads, pimples and cysts.

Compared to other types of treatment, which often work locally, it works throughout the body. It can therefore be used for both face, back or chest pads, which are the areas where most people experience eruptions.

Laser treatment

Laser is a treatment for reducing acne or acne scars.

The technique focuses on short, concentrated pulsating light rays by uneven skin and removes skin layers so that the skin can repair itself, and then create fresh and healthy skin.
If you have acne you can not be a candidate. However, you should always discuss whether laser is right for you by consulting your doctor before completing the procedure.


  1. More about the condition – NHS