What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the oil-secreting glands in the skin are clogged and become inflamed or infected.

These glands occur mainly on the face, back and chest, so these areas are the main sites for acne.

Acne is associated with increased grease production, therefore people with acne often notice and complain of the greasiness of their skin.

How common is acne?

Many young people will have a few acne spots at some time but around 15% will have more troublesome spots called acne.

Acne usually starts in the early teens and, if not treated, peaks between the ages of 17 and 21 years. Most people are acne-free by the time they are 25, although, in a few people, acne may persist to the age of 40 or older.

Acne is also common just before a woman’s monthly period.

What causes acne?

Grease glands:

These are controlled by the sex hormones and this is why acne starts at puberty. However acne is seldom due to an excess of these hormones but is usually due to an excessive response of the grease glands to normal hormone levels.

It is not clear why and how blackheads and whiteheads develop, but the grease secreted by the sebaceous glands (any of the simple or branched glands in the skin that secrete an oily substance) probably plays a part in their formation.

Skin bacteria:

After puberty, the skin of the face and upper trunk, with or without acne, contains bacteria. These bacteria get into the ducts of the grease glands where they make chemicals that eventually penetrate the deeper parts of the skin. This does not mean acne is infectious. It is due to the action of normal skin bacteria on the abnormal quantity and quality of grease produced by acne sufferers.

What are the symptoms of acne?

  • Blackheads.
  • Whiteheads.
  • Pimples (some filled with pus).

These skin eruptions can be painful and, in some cases, spots may become large and tender. These are called nodules and may lead to scarring — scars may be raised from the skin surface (keloid scars) or depressed (atrophic scars).

How is acne treated?

Acne spots can usually be kept under control but continuous treatment may be necessary for many years.

Treatment is aimed at cleaning out the pores, keeping oil and dirt out of the pores, and reducing inflammation.

Your doctor or nurse will discuss your skin care and assess which products, such as soaps, you should continue using and which you should stop using. They will also discuss the various options for treatment.

Possible treatments for acne are:

  • Topical treatment: This is treatment that is applied to the skin. Some topical treatments are also available from your chemist — the most effective topical treatments that can be bought over the counter contain benzoyl peroxide. Topical treatment must be applied to the entire affected area and not just to the spots and it should be continued to keep the spots under control.
  • Oral antibiotics: These are the most frequent oral treatments. They reduce the number of skin bacteria and also reduce inflammation.
  • Hormonal treatment: Ordinary contraceptive pills have little or no effect on acne, but there are other hormonal treatments that can reduce excessive grease production.
  • There are other strong treatments related to vitamin A. These are only likely to be prescribed by a specialist after your doctor has referred you for assessment in the more serious cases where other treatments have failed.
What can I do?

What is the long-term outlook?

Acne is usually one of the most straightforward of the persistent skin conditions to treat, but it must be treated sooner rather than later. Do not be embarrassed to go to your doctor about this condition. Help is available.

Early treatment minimises the risk of scarring.

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Anonymous - 21/02/2004 02:16

I am taking Roaccutane for the last 3 months and i have seen a reduction in the amount of spots developing ,BUT.....i am noticing more scars, ands scars that i had not noticed before,I would like to know why? before i went on isotretion i was taking antibotics(minocyclene) tablets for 2 years which left me felling run down was that normal? When i went to my chemist, once i was told that the company that made minocylene had stopped and i was put on different tablets half way through the course my spots got worse, a mounth later when i went back to my chemist i was told that minocyclene was available again,and once again i was switched back on to minocyclene,by this stage you can imagine how depressed i was maybee still am felling!

Anonymous - 03/04/2004 22:55

I suffer from acne concentrated in the chin area. i have heard that some new spray has just hit the market and was wondering if anyone has used it/heard of it? im not sure of the name but its specially formulated for spot prone skin

Anonymous - 04/06/2004 18:34

hello, i would also be interested in finding out about ths new spray? where can you get it?

Anonymous - 05/08/2004 15:45

dianette (oral contraceptive) taken for 6 months is said to clear up facial acne. it's worked for many women i know (late 20's early 30's). there's also a liquid anti-biotic that can be applied directly to the affected area that helps also (sorry, can't remember the name but has to be gone on prescription). many of the facial washes you see advertised are useless for continual problematic skin...advice from a doctor is better if over the age of 25 especially.

Anonymous - 07/09/2004 14:36

I use panoxyl gel for my acne and find it works very well but can be a bit drying on the skin initially. You can get it in your local chemist it contains benzoyl peroxide.

Anonymous - 27/10/2004 12:13

can u update me on laser treatment please, cost and process of treatment.

Anonymous - 06/11/2004 13:17

like many i have been suffering from acne for the past 5 years I am now 18 and my acne is at a peak. About 2 years ago i lost my faith in doctors as i seen little results, i then tried many other options and saw little improvent. I have now been forced back to the doctor hopefully i might get rid of it as i am on two sets of tablets. Has anybody any solutions or has anybody tried ro accutane???

Andrea(WAT22909) - 17/01/2005 03:58

Was just wandering if there is a link between acne and allergy's? Also if anybody has info on cystic acne??

Anonymous - 25/01/2005 19:11

I suffered from acne for years and was put on roaccutane as a last resort for 6 months. It was a particulary bad 6 months with extremely dry skin and blushing of the skin. However after my course of treatment the improvement was almost 100%. However, maybe a year later the acne returned but with the regular use of facewashes my skin has been relatively acne free ever since.

michelle(RKN25770) - 12/03/2005 17:17

having been on roaccutane i really really do not recommend it due to the side effects like sore eyes and back pain that still exists two years later and my acne return in about a month after spotting taking roaccutane

Anonymous - 21/03/2005 09:46

I am in my twenties and suffer from large blackheads on my chin, nose, forehaed and partially on my cheeks. I get irritated an squeeze them 2-3 times a week and am petrified I will cause bad scaring. I have been doing this for years having found nothing to help against them. I have tried prescribed gels and creams, all to no avail. Please help, as it's really starting to depress me at this stage, I had hoped that the problem would reduce with age, but it only seem sto get worse.

Anonymous - 24/03/2005 18:55

to be honest im fed up of people giving roaccutane a very bad name, im just after being prescribed it as a last resort and trust me it is, i've been on numerous other medications and creams and nothing has worked leavin my confidence crushed as im only 18 and lets face it its easy to be crushed as a teenager. all these people who have bad experiences are a minority, that hopefully i wont be part of and i do empathise with those people, but theres no use in scaring people like me and trust me i am scared about it. Thanks a mill.and by the way, there are plenty side effects to most medications. so just relax people, please

Anonymous - 01/04/2005 16:51

im 19 and have had acne on the top half of my back since i was 13,iv tried everything for vitamins to creams and tablets but not roaccutane,should i try it?i dont like the sound of the side effects

Anonymous - 02/04/2005 16:39

ive just been prescribed roaccutane as a last resort because nothing else works but from the research ive done the side effects dont necessarily affect everyone on the drug, only a few, and the outcomes are aparently great. to be honest i'm a bit complacent myself but i think it will be SO worth it

Anonymous - 14/04/2005 16:23

i'm on my 3rd month of roaccutane, i must admit i was a bit apprehensive when i read the side affects, but i gave it a go,and already i can see the difference,im on it for 6 months in all, ive suffered with bad acne since i was 13 so i had enough!the worst side affect has to be dry lips and my dermatologist warned me about that, but thats all, its worth giving a go if your a long term sufferer and your dermatologist reccomends it.WHY SUFFER ANY LONGER!!!!

Anonymous - 11/05/2005 10:23

I am seriously looking into Roaccutane. Does your doctor prescribe this or is it nessessary to get referred to a dermatolagist?

Anonymous - 11/06/2005 11:20

You need to be referred to a dermatologist, then he can prescribe it. By the way peeps, I finished my roaccutane course about 2 months ago. I had really really bad excema during the period I took it, (worse side effects than any of my mates) and I can say, that roaccutane is brilliant. Everyone I know who has taken it thinks its brilliant. I'm not saying everyone should jump in and use it, but if you suffer from severe acne, it is the best choice you have, and it does work. in my opinion the Pro's outweigh the Con's, even when taking it. Just keep trucking when you're on it. ps: dont fool yourself into thinking its an easy ride. Its really horrible while you're on it, but its still a brilliant drug. Thanks

Anonymous - 25/06/2005 14:12

Hi, I am a 27 year old man with an acne problem on my back and on my bottom. Does anyone have this problem and is there a way of treating it. I have had this problem for many years.

Anonymous - 22/07/2005 10:18


Anonymous - 26/07/2005 18:04

i have been taking Tetracycline for nearly four months now but they have made only a small area of skin go back to normal on my back but my face is worse than ever. Should i stop taking them and ask my GP for something stronger?

Anonymous - 17/08/2005 13:14

I have been taking Dianette for an outbreak of acne in my mid 20's. It totally cleared my skin, however overnight I had another outbreak while still on Dianette. Can flare ups re-occur while on Dianette?

Anonymous - 07/09/2005 15:13


Anonymous - 09/09/2005 14:05

Hi, I am 41 (YES) and have suffered with acne since I was 14. Have tried everything - antibiotics, UV treatment, roaccutance (twice), dietary changes etc. to no avail. Last January I started on the road to control! Attended skin specialist who prescribed ipral (usually used for UTIs) and as well as continuing with improved diet and exercise regime (have also given up the fags), I started on a course of glycolic peels and microdermabrasion. My acne is now under the best control ever, and I can even go for a walk in the morning with NO MAKEUP! My sense is that for those of you who have stubborn acne like me, change can only come about with lifestyle changes and trial and error with treatments (both internal and external). I know what acne can do to your self-esteem, and wish you all the best of luck. Remember, although acne can be unsightly, beauty is only skin deep! So if your acne is really controlling your life, maybe counselling and work on self-esteem can help.

Dray(NOR34698) - 18/09/2005 12:27

I'm considering going on Roaccutane. Up until recently I have been taking Minocon (for about 1 year), which worked really well on my face acne, but it has been taken off the market for some reason. My doc has put me on another antibiotic called By-Mycin but I don't feel like it's doing anything and my acne is returning. Can anyone tell me how much Roaccutane will cost, monthly? Including all expenses (ie: derm visits, blood checks ect)

Anonymous - 21/09/2005 19:27

I don't have acne as such but have always suffered from spots mainly around my chin area. I heard of Zineryt which is a topical antibiotic and after using it for a year or so my skin completely cleared up and now I haven't been using it for a few months I still rarely get any spots. My GP had never heard of it but she eventually prescribed it for me after looking it up and there weren't any side effects that I noticed. It is reasonably priced too.

wendy(PSA34186) - 04/10/2005 15:32

is Zineryt only on prescription is it cream or in tablet form as i am only gettin a few spots on my chin

Anonymous - 07/10/2005 08:13

can any one recommend a god face wash that isnt harsh on the skin as i have acne on my chain

Anonymous - 11/10/2005 22:57

I have suffered from mild acne for some number of years now, but now that I am entering high school, my face is continously breaking out. I don't know what to do. I have tried nuetragena, noxema, clearisil, and clean and clear. Nothing worked. So then I tried pro-activ. It cleared my face and all, but after I kept using it and using it i started to break out alot along my forehead and cheeks. It made my face even oilier. My face isn't full of pimples. I do have acne, but not anyhting severe. Everyone knows how it is when they get pimples popping out all over their face. They just want it to go away like I do, like we all do.

Anonymous - 30/11/2005 21:15

My son has had persistant acne since age 14. We tried every solution both medical and herbal and nothing worked. His back and back of his neck has always been terrible his face not too bad. We firstly tried tetracycline antibiotics for about two to three years and eventually tried Roaccutane but he reacted terribly to these tablets with stomach cramps after taking each tablet so he had to come off them. He is now 21 and still has acne but perhaps not as bad or maybe we've just got used to it. His back and neck are scarred and the sides of his face. Acne has scarred his life as well as he has always been self conscious of his condition and has prevented his taking part in sport or swimming and made him very shy. It's a terrible complaint!

Cleeby - 13/12/2005 13:08

I have nothing but sympathy for every single person posting on this topic. I had terrible acne from 13 to about 23 and NOTHING seemed to work. In my mind, education is the best tool you can use. There are lots of different types and lots of different causes of acne. If you can figure out what causes yours you can make the best lifestyle and treatment choices for YOU. Most important thing is not to give up. It's easy to become completely depressed when you feel like you stick out like a sore thumb, but so many people suffer from acne in varying shouldn't be the first thing people notice about you. For females out there, of any age, once you get your skin under control and have scars left- find a really good brand of makeup that works for your skin- you'll probably have to try a LOT, but it's truly worth it. If you can leave the house feeling like you're gorgeous that's half the battle won. Finally, pay attention to medical proffessionals. If you feel like they're not listening, pester them until they do. (Even if you feel sometimes like a big crybaby or whatever) They're proffessionals and their job is to alleviate your suffering. (mental as well as physical) Reading these posts makes me wish I was 13 again and could have had all this advice available then! Oh, try wearing more pure cotton fabrics next to your skin, espcially on your back and against your neck, anything tight or scratchy is gonna make it worse. Thanks, and good luck to everyone.

Anonymous - 12/01/2006 16:00

i am now 21, i have suffered with varying degrees of acne since the the age of around 13. For me, strees is the biggest cuase. During the summer when i amrelatively stress free, my acne is 99 cured, although when i return to college it appears again and particularly around the cheeks and chin. i have been on roacutane and minocin. each cleared my skin during the course of thier prescription. I have found that diet is a factor in acne. changing my diet did halp my skin very much, although did not clear it.

Kevin - 30/01/2006 22:22

We all know how it feels when some idiot make a comment about the number of spots on your face. From the age of about 13/14 i had acne spots dotted all over my face, I had visited the doctor on numerous occasions, about 2 1/2 years in total. When as a last resort I was reffered to a dermatoligist at a local hospital. I was prescribed Rocatane and it was surely the best thing that has ever happened in my teenage years. The spots cleared and have not returned, my confidence has grown. Okay the side effects at the time were hard to deal with, like the dry lips and back pain, but what was something else into the bargin when clear skin was only a few months away. I started to take the product before the summer holidays and upon return to school i saw how vain some people actually are... It was the best product i ever used. Now i rarely use any skin products and my face and back are totally clear. Around the time i started taking the product, I reduced the amount of Sweets, crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks in my diet which I also believed helped. So if you can start taking it because clear skin is only a fewmonths away.

Anonymous - 31/01/2006 09:45

At age 23 i started to suffer from very bad acne breakouts on both my jaws.I tried changing my diet giving up chocolate ! Tried loads of different skin care regimes and some products prescribed by my doctor but found they were too harsh on my skin.Now age 26 my skin is clear i get an occasional spot before menstration but other than that im acne free , I think stress was the main cause of it as i was going through a bad time but i find "Dermalogica" products excellant and still continue to use it.They are available in beauty salons nationwide a bit pricey but worth it in the end .Started using them bout 1 and half years ago and noticed a differance after a while and i also drink 1 and a half litres of water every day

Anonymous - 31/01/2006 11:42

i beleive stress is a major cause of acne breakouts. each and every year i return to college my acne reappears. hopefully when i get a real job stress will have no part to play in it...

Anonymous - 31/01/2006 15:59

I used panoxyl and it worked for the firsy few weeks but know I am noticing that more spots are coming. Does anyone have any suggestions of what I can use?

kieran(GCX39830) - 31/01/2006 19:55

try sqeezing a lemon and drinking the juice 3 times day + regular exercise. and above all dont get too stressed

d - 08/02/2006 20:40

im 33 and have just come of dianette after 6 years . my acne is back mainly round my jawline. i was relatively acne free when i was on dianette. ive tried bye bye blemish and panoxyl among others since. they r all fairly crap. im making an app 2moro to c a dermatoligist in the laser centre in dublin. i think thats the route i shud have taken yrs ago!!im hoping to go for laser treatment when my spots are not active, HAS ANYONE BEEN THERE AND HAD IT DONE, IS IT WORTH THE EXPENSE???? CREAMS FOR ME ARE NO GOOD. IM REALLY HOPING THIS WORKS.

karen - 22/02/2006 11:36

hey guys,, have any of you tried benzoyl peroxide?? i know its common but does it actually work..all my acne seems to be just on my chin or around my mouth..any ideas whats been helping for you guys??

Anonymous - 22/02/2006 18:41

iv tried it alrite, it will dry the area of apllication substantially. It does not seem to alleviate redness at all and can actaully make it worse before it gets better.. if u have not not got bad acne i recommend you go on a course of minocin or something similar + try changing your diet.

sands - 28/03/2006 16:25

iv had acne since im 13, im 21 now. Dianate cleard my skin, although iv havent much spots now, my pores are huge and iv loads of scars. Is there any treatment that realy works for pores, im so parniord with them. At this stage ill try anything no matter what the costs

molly - 13/04/2006 23:54

can anyone give me information on laser treatment for scaring

selwyn - 02/05/2006 10:55

hi, i am interested in gettin laser treatment for acne scars which i have. where do i go and how much does it usually cost

karen - 09/05/2006 09:19

hi guys,,thanks for givin me your feedback on the benzoyl peroxide.i think ur right,i cant see it working even after persistent be honest thinking of just living with it,,im sick puttin all my hope on false treatments,i havent been out in 3months the only thing i can do with my acne now is to live with it and try get on with things..

larry - 21/05/2006 00:13

Have had acne since I was 16 and I hate it, not red spots but my pours filling up. I picked them for years and now have scars. Does any one know where I can get treatment for them as it makes me feel so down?

Anonymous - 22/05/2006 16:37

i know exaclty how you feel. I am in the same situation..but to be honest, feeling down will do you absoloutly no good. There has been times when my acne has made me think of doing things that i would not otherwise breaks my heart to think of what it has done me, emotionally more than physically..but thinking like this will slow you down and life is too fast slowness. If you dont shake this feeling out of your head you will never live a full and happy life. scars are not the end of the world, it sounds lame, but you could be in a lot more bother. Remember theres many people out there in the same situation as you, with the same fears and anger, but whats happened has happened and you really must get on with it. I dont know if there is any treament that will really deal with scars, i plan to look into that when i finish college, but for know i am stuck with them. I could go on, but in short, just get on with your life, be happy, tell yourself its not the be all and end all, do as much as you can because you wil be old someday and probably unable to really enjoy life, now you are young and able(i think) so just get on with it. i hope this has helped. sorry for the tough love...:)

shakti - 23/05/2006 11:15

I suffered from acne for the last few years and it had is just clearing up now.I tried every cream and face wash and lotion and anti-biotics none of which worked,tried herbal remedies which helped but did not clear it.I was finally put on Dianette which didn't work,and i suffered a number of side effects including weight gain,mood swings,tiredness,depression. Finally i changed yo Yasmin which has cleared my skin and i have lost the gained weight from Dianette. Also i found rose hip oil and wheatgerm mixed together and put on scars heals them over time!

Anonymous - 27/05/2006 12:40

My son developed acne 5 years ago and is now 18. At first oral and topical antibiotics seemed to control the condition but by the time he was 15 his face suddenly broke out is large cyst type spots and I was afraid he'd be scarred by them. Our doctor told us there would be a minimum 3 month wait to see a dermatologist (and that's privately!) so I hit the web and did some research and found two treatments available for a price. The first treatment I took him for was a 'clearlight' treatment (look in the yellow pages) this promised a minimum 70% clearance rate in 4 weeks with twice weekly treatments. It worked fantastic, easily giving 90% clearance. About a year later some spots reappeared but very few and I decided to get him an N-Lite laser treatment to both clear them up (there weren't many) and to fade some minor scarring. Again it was brilliant. To sum up Clearlight works in about 1 month and costs about 800 euro, N-lite works over 2-3 months lasts about 6 months+ and works on scarring also, and costs about 1000euro for 3 treatments. Hope this helps, and only wish these were cheaper options or the vhi helped!.

molly - 02/06/2006 23:05

hi, annonymous(27/5/06) could you please tell me if this "clearlight" treatment is done in munster? thank you for your help molly

Dray - 06/06/2006 23:43

Hey guys, I posted awhile back about considering going on roaccutane, I didn't go ahead with it in the end, however, I am enjoying pretty much clear for about the past 6 months. The site at helped me a lot with this, I began a clear skin regimen of mine own (you should really visit their message boards, tons of acne sufferers and how they keep it under control). Anyway, I start my day by gentle clensing my face with Quinoderm face wash (found in any local chemist in Dublin, hopefully), then apply a decent amount of benzoyl peroxide cream (also made by Quinoderm) all over my face, wait about 15 mins (usually eat my breakfast in this time) then apply Nivea for men oil control moisturiser. Moisturization is a KEY factor, i found, for me anyway, I was doing the same thing for years without the moisturization and only had limited success, now my face is pretty much completely clear, I just get the occasional spot or two every few weeks, I'm so happy. My bacne, however, is another issue and i've just started a similar regimen for my back, hopefully it will show results soon! I urge all those of you that havn't already to visit the message boards, there's a whole community of people there with a wealth of information that I know I have found very useful and even comforting in my struggle with acne!

Anonymous - 08/06/2006 15:49

I don't suffer from acne but I have always had a problem with spots since my teens. Lately I've had my skin under control using a combination of Dianette(an oral contraceptive used to treat acne), Dalacin T(a topical antibiotic which comes as both a solution and a lotion, which is more suitable for dry skin) and the facial cleanser Cetaphil. I got both the Dianette and Dalacin T on prescription and the Cetaphil from the chemist. I found they made a huge difference.

Homer - 09/06/2006 01:24

Hello I suffered with ACNE just before puberty.When I finished school I spent a fortune on different suggestions and recommendations.After spending a mint I went on Tablets they did not solve it either.Clearasil lotion and clean water went to far and hard on my skin I followed the directions of the manufacture.I finally got a result with a soap called SEBA-MED and most important clean water dont leave it on the skin too long.This worked for me. Now no 2 people are alike Acne is part of growing up your hormones make the changes in your body and Acne appears.Elimination of process with cleaners for Acne is unavoidable.BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT CURE IS MOTHER NATURE.try dieting under the supervision of a qualified dietitian your food can make it very bad or SLOWLY cure you.When I say clean water I am not talking about tap water as they have some elements that make the water hard to very hard.Use spring water it is 1.99 euro for a 5 liter bottle.Or you may be lucky to have a filter fitted to your tap this will eliminate in purities that are in the tap drinking water.TRY IT,MY other suggestion would if you can afford it go to a qualified natural remedy practioner.It does not matter which idea you take Acne is expensive to live with both expensive and can give you a complex if you are being jeared and being made fun of.NOT VERY NICE AT ALL.but your not alone.GOODLUCK

Anonymous - 09/06/2006 08:48

I too suffered from acne around my chin for a number of years it only started in my mid twenties. A bit over a year ago after trying lots of different remedies and medications i decided to get microdermabrasion and skin peels at a private skin clinic in Dublin I had 3 microdermabrasion treatments and 2 skin peels. During which I had to use Jan Marini cleansing products and creams. I am still using these products and have a daily skin routine which has become second nature now, it isn't cheap but it has worked for me. My skin hasn't been this clear in years. If you are at the end of your tether and still have no answers I would recommend that you try this stuff honestly I am so happy with it.

Anonymous - 20/06/2006 19:38

Does the Clearlight and N-lite treatment work on Acne or is it just for acne scarring?

amo - 23/06/2006 14:07

I suffered with Acne from the age of 13 until about 21,I went to see 3 dermatologists and was prescribes numberous prescriptions throughout my teens. Im now 24 and religiously clense,tone and moisturise and have a very clear complection however I have been left with very ugly blackheads all over my nose, chin and around my lip area. I have tried every treament but nothing has worked, does anyone know of any treatments or anyway of getting rid of these. Im due to marry next May and would love to be rid of the dreaded blackheads or at least reduce them, I am very paranoid about it and have been for years.

Anonymous - 04/07/2006 00:22

hi i left a comment last april 05 in which i was just starting roaccutane, i am happy to say after four months of treatment it had wonderful results and i would recomment that people compare the detrimental psychological effects of having acne to the 'potential' side effects of roaccutane. I was lucky in having only the dry lips and my immunity did suffer slightly , but by god it was worth it. im like a new person, and im very confident about my skin, i dont even feel i need to wear make up anymore and my skin is the envy of many of my friends for the pure clarity. it was well worth it. hope this helps someone

Anonymous - 02/10/2006 16:39

At 39 years of age I was treated with Roaccutane for my acne and found the treatment led to very bad dry skin, dry eyes etc. I also had rosacea. I would say please do not underestimate how beneficial this treatment is and certainly 3 months of dry skin and other side effects is MUCH BETTER than prolonged, painful, sore and socially embarassing acne. The results were fantastic and cleared both my acne and rosacea for good, I\'m 43 now. A lot of media attention has been on depression as a side effect but for me, which was going to be the more depressing? Really bad acne and social embarrassment or three months of dry skin. Roaccutane defintely worked for me.

Anonymous - 16/10/2006 17:00

I have suffered with acne for 8 years now. im 19 and got it when i was 11. I think i've gone through every form of treatment. Some had a slight help but my acne still remains fairly bad. My dermatologist has just put me on roaccutane.. 20mg per day over a 10 month period. I've done alot of research on it and decided to give it a go.. everyones different i suppose. my dosage seems very low over a much longer period of time than anything i've read. I was just wondering if anyone has any idea's on that..

HOPE! - 17/10/2006 15:03

Hi, I have just been prescribed Roaccutane after trying almost every thing whether by a GP or over the counter stuff - just so fed up waking every single morning and looking in the mirror at another bloody spot that has decided to appear. It can be so frustrating when you don't smoke, don't eat crap food, use really good skin prodtcs (that cost a fortune) and still have spots. It's mainly around my jaw line- just so unslightly particualrly for a 25 year old! Anyhow, I have only been on Roaccatane for a week so fingers crossed. It's great though to read some of these comments to see how other people have got on. I am also on only a 20mg prescrition, I think they give you such a low dose to begin with to slowly get everything out of your skin, if they gave you a higher dose it would all come at once which would'nt be that nice. I figure it will take at least 5 to 6 months, here's hoping it will work!

Anonymous - 24/10/2006 19:01

Hey I'm 19 and ive suffered from spots since i was 11. Apart from drinking lots of water the only thing thats seemed to work for me is a cream called Bee Health Propolis Cream which I know is avaliable online although I've yet to see it anywhere else. I think that stress is the main factor in the condition of my skin.

Anonymous - 13/11/2006 19:02

does proactive work on pimples?

Anonymous - 28/11/2006 17:01

Hi, I inherited bad acne and have tried most treatment options available- over the counter products, diet, herbal and medical. After a year on Minocin i was referred to a dermatologist. I was 13 at the time and decided I wanted to try Roacutane. I was on it for nearly a year and it deffinately is worth it. I did experience many side effects - e.g extreame dryness of skin to nose bleeds in my sleep, but it is the only treatment that worked. 4years later mild acne is recurring so I'm back on Minocin for the time being. While I have no regrets going on Roacutane I don't think I would ever resort to it again...

Alice - 06/03/2007 10:57

I have been on Isotretinoinum( it's very much like Roactune,just cheaper).Started seing any change just looks much better,just little spots.Should be on it for 10 months,20 mg every day,your dose depends on your weight.Worth to try.I am 30 years old and acne just appeared from was very depressing when it happend.Now I have lots of hope.Before you take it,be conscious about side effects and woman shouldn't get pregnant during and after 3-6 months of taking it.My doctor said,i take it for 10 months and then the acne will never come back.We will see;)) still few months ahead to finish my treatment.

Candy - 19/04/2007 11:04

I have been having acne for the past 10 years. It was severe. I had it in my face, chest as well as my back. My doctor put me on Oratene for 6 months- its a drug for acne. I think it\'s similar to Roaccutane. I take 40 mg\'s per day i.e 2 capsules. I\'ve been using it for 2 months now. The acne got worse than ever but now it\'s clearing up. Side effects are dry lips, itchy eyes, and dry skin. I hope this will work for me.

HOPE! - 20/04/2007 09:26

Hi Candy, just saw your posting and I can guanratee it will work if your medication is anything similar to Roaccutane. I was on Roaccutane for 20 weeks and am now finshed with over a month. Your acne will get worse before it gets better, but that is only because the medication will push everything out of your pores - sounds disgusting I know but it will all be worth it! For me, it is quite nervewrecking not being on the medication anymore because now you are on you own - fingers crossed that I never see a spot again on my face. Best of luck to you!

Anonymous - 28/04/2007 17:05

Hi, I can really understand where everyone is coming from. was on roaccutane until about a yr and a half ago along with dianette, it really did work wonders for my skin but like many iv been left with really bad scarring. its started to really bother me recently and i was wondering does anyone have any idea how to go about reducing scarring? i still do get the odd few spots (usually after shit food/stress/nights out!) but nothing compared to what i got before roaccutane. i would really appreciate any advice anyone might have on scarring. thanks.

Rhi - 01/06/2007 15:51

I took Roaccetune 6 months ago how long do i have to wait till i can have a healthy pregnnacy. I mean because if u take roaccatane to soon it can cause birth defects i believe??????

Anonymous - 27/07/2007 07:56

I am a 25 year old female, and had severe cystic acne since the age of 17. I just finished a course of Roaccutane (25mg for 8 months) and this has completely cleared the problem, and the scars have faded a bit. Luckily I didn't suffer severe side effects, and I can honestly say being on this drug didn't adversely affect my daily life at all. I deferred taking Roaccutane for a number of years because of the bad press it receives, but I took Dianette for over four years (there are a lot of recent concerns about long-term use of this pill), and I found Roaccutane the better of the two drugs. I think it should be limited to severe cases - mine was closer to bad "male" cystic acne than women typically get, and my doctors thought I met all the criteria for this drug. While acne should be kept in perspective (its not permanent, and doesn't stop you being independent, having a good character etc.), it is a very difficult condition in your formative years, and I only began to accept in my mid-twenties that this was something I had to deal with and work through. The main effect for me was that my self-esteem was fine in friendships and at school/work, but I had no confidence in relationships. In some ways, having acne can make you a stronger person - people are by nature superficial, and may subconsciously "judge" or reject you on the basis of severe acne, but if you let your personality shine through, that will ultimately win out, and I definitely learnt to recognise how shallow people can be and not to care very much. However, with bad cases of acne, help is necessary for your self-esteem and self-development. I would advise people to talk through your options with a dermatologist and ignore Internet discussions (ironic I say that here, but anyway). Professionals see 100's of cases, and if you are honest about how severe or not your condition is, they will prescribe the best treatment for you. Warnings of horrific side effects make good copy for media and websites, and in some cases the scientific evidence doesn't support the link. There are some people who will be at greater risk of adverse effects than others, but at least get a professional opinion.

ck1 - 28/07/2007 22:26

I have a long and weary history with acne. I have suffered from cystic acne since i was 15 years old. As a teenager I sough help from a dermatologist, who put me on various courses of ant-biotics (Tetracyclines, etc). They worked while I took them, but each time I finished the course, the acne returned as aggressively as ever. at 17 I took dianette for a few years, which helped, but I gained a lot of weight. At 28 I was sick and tired of being plagued with acne. I sought the advise of a dermatologist, whose fees I could ill afford. She recommeded Ipral (Trimotroprim) an antibiotic normally used for kidney infections, in conjunction with laser treatment. I continued this treatment for 2 years. It did not work for me, and I developed an ulcer, which I personally believe was due to the high dose (300mg BD) of Ipral. She refused to prescribe Roaccutane because I had a depressive episode in my past. At the end of my tether, I sought a second opinion from an other dermatologist. He prescribed Roaccutane immediately. I can honestly say that I am DELIGHTED I sought his help. I took the drug for 3 months. I did have areas of dry skin, and my eyes and nose were dry and itchy. The acne cleared completely, and has not returned. Also any comedones (blackheads) that I had disappeared. However, I feel that some of the pithing / scarring on my skin has become more noticable. I do not know if this is as a result of the roaccutane. However, I would highly recommend roaccutane to anybody with persistent acne. It worked miracles for me, I am only sorry I wasnt aware of it years ago!

Grace(MAB61990) - 05/08/2007 21:20

Anyone whose looking for a really good fashwash- non-prescription- try Dermalogica. It's available from many beauticians' across the country but you can get it shipped from, its way cheaper that way. Anyone going on Dianette- don't stress about the bad reviews- I just finished a 3 month course of it, I went off it because it didn't clear up my skin. If you're apprehensive about it you needn't be, plenty of people experience no side effects. Just watch out for things like headaches, I got them quite bad on Dianette, and I did think it made me quite teary-eyed..! Nothing unbearable though.. Zineryt is only available on prescription, to be honest i think it's useless.. it actually dried out my spots and just made them more inflamed, it was really crap...

dolly - 25/10/2007 22:34

Try "Acne Getawy" E101 acne treatment lotion. You can get it Dr and Herbs. It has 99% cure for me and no side effects. Its a miracle.

Jill(GCH69677) - 14/03/2008 00:04

Hi all. the reason i'm emailing is because i want to talk about my experience with Roaccutane. after living with acne for the best part of 20 years, (i'm 34), i started taking Roaccutane about 6 weeks ago. i never had good skin and that i was always prone to lots of zits and a huge amount of blackheads. in the last 10 years, in particular, i have watched my skin deteriorate to the point where i had blackheads all over my face and on my chest and breasts. i became v depressed about this and often wondered where it would all end. i watched all my friends grow out of spots in their 20s while my skin just got worse and worse and worse. i felt very ugly, to be honest. in the last few years, i have tried Dianette which didn't work at all. useless. then i tried Isotrexin a topical lotion - that didn't work either. isotrexin was rubbish. i tried salon facials and various over the counter skin treatments from Boots etc. i spent a fortune and none made any difference. i was then put on a course of Minocycline - tablets that i took twice daily and they made my skin so much worse that even the doctor was surprised at the state of it. immediately she referred to a dermatologist and said that this was the only option left for me as we had tried everything else. so i went to the dermatologist who took one look at my skin and prescribed Roaccutane. he said that nothing else would work. he said that Roaccutane was the last and only option for persistent acne like mine especially as i had tried everything else. he also said that it wouldn't fail to work. he was right. i've been taking it for about 6 weeks now and you should see the improvement in my skin. its like a miracle. in the last month, most of the blackheads have disappeared from my face. some blackheads came out in my hands when i touched my face. its obvious that the remaining ones will vanish soon. my pores have tightened up and are not so large and visible. my foundation no longer slides off my face 1 hour after applying it. i just can't believe this. i'm much happier in myself at the thought of good clear skin being only a few more months away. i must admit Roaccutane is a hardcore treatment in that it makes the skin on my face regenerate faster so there is noticeable peeling. my skin flakes off in chunks but a good moisturiser keeps it under control. it also makes my lips very dry but vaseline helps enormously with that. i've been told this is only a short term side effect. since adolesence, my skin, hair, arms and back were always extremely greasy. i had to wash my hair twice a day, if i was going out that night. my skin was like an oil slick all the time. my skin is now normal. i don't wash my hair everyday anymore because i don't need to. the texture of my skin has changed. its much softer. i was starting to get a few wrinkles with age, but they have smoothed out very noticeably. the only advice i can give to anyone reading this is don't wait till you're 34 like me to sort your skin out. your acne might never clear up on its own, untreated. mine didn't. don't live with acne. don't put up with it. why should you? i know Roaccutane doesnt work for everyone - i've read the previous messages from other people who have had bad experiences with it. but so far, it's clearly working for me. i'd love to hear from anyone out there with similar experiences as i've often felt so alone and isolated having acne. people with good skin will never know how awful it is to suffer acne. lucky them. i wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. fingers crossed anyway folks, i'll keep you posted on my progress. x.

Jill - 14/07/2008 19:48

Hi Jennifer, i would definitely recommend Roaccutane. i finished my course of Roaccutane about 2 months ago, i had to take it twice a day for 4 months. the change in my skin (and hair) is incredible. I just wish i had done this 15 years ago. i'm very annoyed with myself for waiting so long to clear my acne. you will need to be prescribed Roaccutane by a skin specialist or dermatologist. its unlikely that your own doctor or GP is authorised to prescribe Roaccutane. i would imagine that Roaccutane is available widely in Holland but only with a prescription. if your current dermatologist won't prescribe Roaccutane then look for a dermatologist who will. i don't know if its possible for you to get a relative in America to buy Roaccutane for you without consulting a doctor. i doubt it. i live in Ireland and i was able to buy Roaccutane at my local pharmacy with a prescription for the dermatologist. yes, the 4 visits to the dermatologist were very expensive and the drugs were also very expensive but it was totally worth it. over the years, i also tried Clearasil and lots of other cosmetic cleansers and none of them ever worked. its sounds like you need something stronger, such as a course of oral tablets like Roaccutane. i hope that you will try roaccutane. it really made a big difference for me and i'm a lot happier. All the best, Jill

David - 22/10/2008 18:23

Hi, i had very bad cystic acne all over my back and neck. it made me very depressed and i even thought of killing myself it got that bad. i had it until i took roaccutane for 6 months when i was 26 and it cleared it up completly and it helped me to get my life back in order. people who never suffered from acne dont realise how much it can affect you mentaly and how it can stop you from doing things that most people take for granted. i became a more confident person after the treatment and it did change my life. im 32 now and the only thing that reminds me of the acne is all the scars left behind on my back which still make me feel a bit self consious. has any one else been left with a lot of scars and is there anything that can be done about them? hope anyone out there suffering reads this and gets it sorted sooner rather than later. all the best david.

Anonymous - 17/11/2008 22:11

Have people been advised in relation to their diet when it comes to acne? I mean with regard to Gluten and dairy? Am very interested to hear if people have followed this line of enquiry and if they have seen results. Applying something to the skin and taking medications is not always the answer, nor the only solution, taking control of ones health and eliminating foods to see if this makes a difference should go hand in hand with medical treatment.

Jill - 18/11/2008 23:07

Hi all, just thought i'd check in to say that 6 months after finishing Roaccutane, my skin has improved beyond all recognition. i get the odd spot now and again but that's a huge improvement from having lots of zits on my face, back and chest which is what it was like before. all the blackheads disappeared from my face and chest too. never thought i'd see the day when i'd get shot of them. my skin is nice and normal now, all that oily greasiness is gone. for anyone thinking about trying Roaccutane. go for it. i haven't looked back since. x

Eef - 08/12/2008 22:43

Hey everyone, I am 18 and have started getting acne on my back in the past two months, just started college so thought that might have something to do with it but it has spread like wildfire, it went from one or two spots to red spots all down my back. and now I have it on the top of my arms and also spots on my chest, face and occasionally some on my neck (which take ages to clear).

Doc prescribed Dianette but unsure if I should take it after hearing some of the reviews out there.. The last thing I want is to end up with worse acne afterwards, like should I just wait it out and let my hormones settle and see if it is any better in a year or two or try it? Also have any of ye gone on it around my age and then come off , if so, how was your skin afterwards?

And last of all, if I do take it could it work out that if I took yasmin when I come off it that it would ease my hormones back to normal and hence avoid flare-ups from discontinuing dianette? Any ideas?

Jill - 09/12/2008 17:13


I tried Dianette for 2 years and then Yasmin for 1 year, in my twenties. Neither of them worked.


LadyinpinkxXx - 10/12/2008 11:16

I am finding dianette really effective, i have been on it for 6 months and it only started to really work in the last 2 months. I am also using Panoxyl acnegel 10%, this is fantastic. i highly recommend it to anyone who has severe acne like i had!!

I know the effect acne has on mental health etc. Just want to tell everyone out there what cured my cystic acne and give hope that there is a solution and acne is only temporary. It will clear.

Best of luck to everyone xx

doteen - 15/01/2009 21:32

I am off the pill since April 2008 after 8 years and in the last few months I get terrible sore and red spots along my jawline, usually about a week before my period and they last for weeks. I had an ovarian cyst but its now gone and I have one fibroid. Does anyone know could the fibroid be a cause of it. Never asked my gyne. One of the reasons I went on the pill too was for my skin. I don't want to go back on the pill anymore and wonder what could get rid of these spots, more like boils that spots. Have tried panoxyl but makes the skin so red and causes it to peel. Any help would be great.

Basil - 26/02/2009 14:40


Just back from Germany where I was introduced to a new iodine-based Acne treatment, soon to be launched on the Irish market, under what I think is the Facefresh brand.

For the first time in ages, I look and feel a lot better.

Anyone else hear of this and have any knowledge of Irish distributor ?

Fi-Fi - 24/07/2009 20:52

Could someone please recommend a natural remodied for acne scaring?? thanks!

SamSam - 23/08/2009 16:06

can u update me on laser treatment please, cost and process of treatment.

Scars caused by acne takes a long period of time when treated with creams. Some of them promises good effects but the results does not give satisfaction to the patients. Why don't you try laser scar removal procedures, it is usually penetrates into dermis which can eliminate damages skin cells.

Dill - 25/08/2009 00:21

16 years of severe acne and I'm still searching for a cure....I've been on every lotion, potion, organic, herbal, alternative and mainstream medicine that exists. I've attended doctors, specialists, beauticians, dermatologists, alternative therapists to name but a few and they all struggle to find a cure. I've been on every mild to moderate and severe medication that exists (topical solutions, antibiotics, different types of contraceptive pill, roaccutane (on 3 different occasions, each time for over a year) and I'm slowly but surely starting to loose faith. I've another appointment with my dermatologist on Wednesday, I dread to think of the money I've spent on my skin over the last 16 years and I really cant afford much more. Please please tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel, my heart is starting to break...

ra - 10/09/2009 19:21

Could anyone tell me of a dermatologist in the mayo sligo or galway area??

Clarkie1 - 21/02/2011 14:17

Can anyone advise what test I need to do for hormonal acne?

CherylAnnie - 23/05/2013 06:22

I was suffering from severe acne problem. Recently i have tried an acne chemical peel on my face. It has worked wonder for me.

honeygal - 09/01/2014 19:43

HI there. Im also trying to find some information relating to acne scaring. I have heard mesotherapy is very good for this. Does anyone know where I can have this done in Dublin?

honeygal - 13/01/2014 17:36

Ive been doing some research and found more on the mesotherapy which is also called skin needling for anyone who wants to read more about acne scarring 

Will be having this done myself and will update ye all

Judith3528 - 31/01/2017 23:50

Try the extract of the Arquebuse Water 75 herbal medicine.

Maria Mel533 - 23/10/2017 19:18

Hello! When I was a teenager I suffered from acne. During a year I tried around 15 different treatments and I couldn't see any changes, I was so desperate. I started to look for help on forums and blogs and I saw someone recommending dermalmd treatment for acne, so I decided to try it. After 2 months of daily application, my acne was almost completely gone! I hope this helps you!

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