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Why do we get spots?

The vast majority of us will suffer with bad skin at least once in our life; a whopping 80% before the age of 25 and a still significant 10% afterwards. But why?


First things first, anyone who has ever suffered with acne will understand that it’s not just down to washing your face properly. For many even the most expensive cleansers, exfoliants and moisturisers can’t save the skin from random breakouts – no matter how much those who don’t suffer from regular face fights insist

Instead the condition is actually caused by something much more complicated and is linked directly to how our skin is constructed.  Look closely at any area of flesh (bar the palms or soles of feet) and you’ll see tiny, almost unnoticeable, hairs all over. The term for these is androgenic and, much like the strands on your head, each comes complete with a follicle and something called a sebaceous gland – which is responsible for producing an oily substance called sebum.

Sebum is our body’s natural moisturiser which lubricates the skin to prevent it drying out. However, while the oil normally rests completely unnoticed, acne is provoked when too much is produced.  The excess sebum combines with dead cells and dirt on the surface of the skin, causing the attached hair follicle to clog – resulting in blocked pores and blackheads. When spots occur, it’s because normally harmless bacteria that lives on the surface of our skin gets caught within these clogged pores and contaminates them, inflaming the skin and causing it to rise.

As tempting as it is to scrub your face to oblivion to try and get rid of dirt, excess oil and bacteria, washing too much or using cleaners that are too strong can actually have the opposite effect – causing the skin to produce more sebum to counteract for the moisture that has been lost.

So what can be done to stop acne in its tracks?

Nlite Laser Acne Treatment

While certain creams and use-at-home products can get rid of individual spots, it’s their cause – the bacteria – that needs to be addressed to stop them occurring completely. One treatment that does just that is a revolutionary method called NLite which is a laser skin treatment for face that consists of laser light directed at the affected area to destroy bacteria and stimulate the skin’s natural repair mechanism.

Before and after N-Lite Acne treatment at The Private Clinic
Before and after N-Lite Acne treatment at The Private Clinic

Because of the advanced lasers used the treatment is suitable for all skin types, with each session lasting an average of around 30 minutes. Most patients need a course of three sessions, though some patients do see a notable improvement after just one. Laser resurfacing recovery time is very fast as the downtime is minimal to none.

Before and after N-Lite Acne treatment at The Private Clinic
Before and after N-Lite Acne treatment at The Private Clinic

Other treatments for acne include:

Chemical Peels for Acne

Chemical peels and enzyme treatments are great acne facial treatments to help reduce and control the redness and inflammation of acne whilst regulating your oil production. The peel can be customised to suit your skin type and the severity of your acne. A chemical skin peel treatment starts with your face being cleansed and the peel applied to entire face or area to be treated. The peel will then be left for a certain amount of time decided by your practitioner this is usually determined by your skin type and sensitivity. A neutralizer is then applied and then peel is then removed before a serum/sun protection is applied to the face.

Before and after Chemical Peel Acne treatment at The Private Clinic
Before and after Chemical Peel Acne treatment at The Private Clinic


The Obagi Clenziderm M.D System is a complete acne treatment that is specifically formulated for normal to oily skin. The Clenziderm system is a series of 3 products that will need to be used everyday in the morning in the evening to help firstly clear up your acne and then prevent future breakouts. A course of treatment lasts around 12 weeks and by this point the oil production of your skin will have become more regulated and breakouts much less frequent. Pores will appear smaller and blackheads clear. At this stage you should start to maintain your new healthy skin using the aftercare advice given to you by your practitioner.

Before and after Obagi Clenziderm MD treatment
Before and after Obagi Clenziderm MD treatment

Everything from hormones to diet, stress and genetics can trigger your skin to be susceptible to acne. But you don’t have to put up with it. Laser Laser skin treatments are available to address the problem, and experts are on hand to help understand your condition and make sure it gets stopped in its tracks. We have a team of nurses, therapists and expert dermatologists on hand and acne consultations to see if the treatment’s the best way forward for you. We understand acne is much more than the spots on the surface, and our job is to get your confidence and your skin back.

Acne treatments are available at our clinics in Harley Street London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Northampton and Buckinghamshire.

To book a consultation to find out more about the treatments we offer, please call 0333 920 2471 or use our online contact form to get booked in at a clinic local to you.

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