Severe Adult Acne

Specialist consultation and treatment

Adult acne is one of the most common skin conditions we treat at Discover Laser. We fully understand the personal distress acne can cause.

Our experienced Consultant Dermatologist is authorised to use the very best clinically proven treatment to control and improve severe active acne.

At your confidential consultation, Doctor Aslam will assess your skin and suggest a personal treatment plan.

  • Prescription-only specialist treatment
  • Highly effective for severe acne

  • Visible results after 7-10 days
  • 4 out of 5 people have clear skin after treatment

Dermatology Consultation for Severe Acne
Dr Aslam, Consultant Dermatologist

  • Facial examination, medical history and personalised treatment plan

Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)

£4503 months
  • Includes 3 months medication at the standard dose.
    Consultant communication and one follow-up.
    Blood tests and other testing as required.

Dermalux MD

  • Course of 10 = £650
    Blue Light destroys blemish-causing bacteria and Near-infrared Light calms redness and irritation.

Prices shown are typical for most patients but can vary depending on your unique circumstances. Should you require additional blood or pregnancy tests or a higher dose of medication the price will be higher. This will be confirmed at your consultation.

Results vary from patient to patient, average treatment courses are 9-12 months, depending on severity and response to treatment.

Your treatment journey

STEP 1: Consultation
At your appointment with our Consultant Dermatologist, you will receive a facial examination, medical history and personalised treatment plan.

Your consultation will include the discussion of:

  • the possible reasons for your acne
  • the potential impact of acne
  • treatment options
  • the benefits and drawbacks associated with treatments
  • the importance of adhering to treatment

The National Institute for Health Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines indicate that the gold-standard for active acne treatment is Isotretinoin (Roaccutane). This is a prescription-only medication that can only be issued by authorised medical practitioners like our Consultant Dermatologist.

If our Consultant recommends this medication for you, the next step is to assess your suitability for treatment.

STEP 2: Isotretinoin treatment assessment

Blood tests will be taken at your consultation appointment to assess your suitability for treatment. For ladies, a pregnancy test will also be carried out (please see NHS Isotretinoid FAQs for details.)

STEP 3: Treatment and follow up 

If your blood test results indicate Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) treatment is safe and appropriate for you, our Consultant will issue your prescription.

You will need to take your prescription to your chosen pharmacy to get, and pay for, your medication.

You are required to attend a 3-month follow up, where your progress can be reviewed and bloods taken. Ladies are required to attend our clinic on a monthly basis for a pregnancy test and any necessary blood tests (see NHS Isotretinoid FAQs for details).

Acne is a very common skin condition characterised by comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and pus-filled spots (pustules). It usually starts at puberty and varies in severity from a few spots on the face, back and chest, which most adolescents will have at some time, to a more serious problem that may be embarrassing, sap self-confidence and cause scarring. For the majority it tends to resolve by the late teens or early twenties but can persist for longer in some people. Acne can develop for the first time in people in their late twenties or even the thirties.

The sebaceous (oil-producing) glands of people who get acne are particularly sensitive to normal blood levels of a hormone called testosterone, which is present in both men and women. This causes the glands to produce an excess of oil. At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the pores are not shed properly and clog up the follicles. These two effects result in a build-up of oil producing blackheads (where a darkened plug of oil is visible) and whiteheads.

The acne bacterium (known as Propionibacterium acnes) lives on everyone’s skin, usually causing no problems, but, in those prone to acne, the build up of oil creates an ideal environment in which these bacteria can multiply. This triggers inflammation and the formation of red or pus-filled spots.

Acne can run in families, but this does not necessarily mean that if your parents had acne you will get it too.

The typical appearance of acne is a mixture of the following: an oily skin, blackheads and whiteheads, red spots and yellow pus-filled pimples, and scars. Occasionally, large, tender spots or cysts may develop which can either eventually burst and discharge their contents or may heal up without bursting.

Acne is easily recognised by the appearance of the spots and by their distribution on the face, neck, chest or back. However there are several varieties of acne and our Consultant will be able to tell you which type you have after examining your skin. The most common type is “acne vulgaris”.

At present, there is no ‘cure’ for acne, although the available treatments can be very effective in preventing the formation of new spots and scarring.

Try not to pick or squeeze your spots as this usually aggravates them and may cause scarring.

Take prompt action
However your acne affects you it is important to take action as soon as it appears. This helps to avoid permanent scarring and reduces embarrassment. If your acne is mild it is worth trying over the counter preparations in the first instance. Choose products clinically proven to help reduce breakouts and inflammation. Expect to use your acne skincare products for at least two months before you see much improvement. Make sure that you understand how to use them correctly so you get the maximum benefit. Some topical treatments may dry or irritate the skin when you start using them. An oil-free moisturiser should help, but you may also have to cut down on the frequency with which you apply the treatments.

Use the right make-up
Wear oil-free, water-based make-up and choose products that are labelled as being ‘non-comedogenic’ (should not cause blackheads or whiteheads) or non-acnegenic (should not cause acne). Remove them at night with soap-free cleanser and water. Scrubbing too hard can irritate the skin and make your acne worse. For best results, we recommend and stock a high quality  100% mineral powder make up, because even the above-mentioned products which are supposed to be better for your skin, can contribute to more irritation and breakouts.

Watch your diet
There is some evidence that Western style diet (high in carbohydrates, high Glycaemic index foods) aggravate acne and it may be sensible for you to avoid foods that you think make your acne worse. A diet high in refined sugars and starches tends to increase quantities of insulin in your body. This may in turn increase the sensitivity to testosterone. Cutting back on refined carbohydrates may help, although there is little evidence to support a consistent link between diet and acne. A good balanced diet will improve your general well-being and this will be reflected in the condition of your skin.

If you have acne but have had no success with over-the-counter products then it is probably time for you to visit your doctor. In general, most treatments take two to four months to produce their maximum effect. It’s a good idea to try to get an understanding of your acne and how severe it is. This will help you to select the most appropriate treatment.

Conventional acne treatments fall into the following categories:

Topical treatments that are applied directly to the skin. These are usually the first choice for those with mild to moderate acne

Oral antibiotics (tablets taken by mouth). Your doctor may recommend a course of antibiotic tablets that should be taken in combination with suitable topical treatments. Suitable for moderate to severe acne. The antibacterial effect seems to be less important than a mild anti-inflammatory effect in controlling acne.

Oral contraceptive pills. Some types of oral contraceptive pills help women who have acne. The most effective contain a hormone blocker (for example cyproterone), which reduces the amount of oil the skin produces.

Isotretinoin capsules (Roaccutane). This powerful treatment has the potential to cause a number of serious side effects and can be prescribed only by our Consultant Dermatologist. Suitable for moderate to severe acne.

Isotretinoin FAQs


At your appointment our Doctor will assess your skin health and check your suitability for treatment. Together you can talk about what you would like to achieve, treatment options, expected outcomes, and your questions can be answered.