Acne Treatments

Struggling with acne? Our dermatologist and clinicians can help you treat acne fast and efficiently.  In most cases we will find a permanent solution. Cutis Dermatology deals with all types of acne, including teenage acne, through to hormonal acne, cystic acne and paediatric cases. 
Cutis Dermatology offers a variety of active acne & acne scar treatment options.
Active Acne:

  • Chemical Peels
  • Acne Cyst Treatments
  • Acne LED Phototherapy
  • Hormonal Treatments
  • Acne Diet
  • Acne Skin Care
Acne Scarring:

  • Vascular Lasers
  • TCA Cross
  • Laser for PIH Scars
  • Subcision
  • Fraxel Laser
  • Genius RF Microneedling

Our results speak for themselves

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Acne Treatments

Chemical Peels
Best for: Blackheads & whiteheads
Down time: 1-2 days
Comments: Better skin in 3 days
Acne Cyst Treatments
Best for: Deep cysts
Down time: 1 day
Comments: Precisely treated with lasers
Acne LED Phototherapy
Best for: Deep cysts
Down time: 0 days
Comments: Lower level laser light
Hormonal Treatments
Best for: Adult jawline hormonal acne
Down time: 0 days
Comments: Best for adult acne
Acne Diet
Best for: Natural remedies
Down time: 0 days
Comments: Take the challenge
Acne Skin Care
Best for: Home treatments
Down time: 0 days
Comments: Home treatments can be effective
Struggling with acne?

Our dermatologist and clinicians can help you treat acne fast and efficiently.  In most cases we will find a permanent solution. Cutis Dermatology deals with all types of acne, including teenage acne, through to hormonal acne, cystic acne and paediatric cases. 

We got your acne covered- from lasers, peels to acne medication. Our dermatologists have been treating acne since 1996. Since then, we have successfully treated over 15,000 cases of acne with treatments from chemical peels, phototherapy, BBL, laser through to acne medication. If you are struggling with acne, or want it fixed fast, book a consultation at our Brisbane clinics.

Acne Scar Treatments

Vascular Lasers
Best for: Red acne scars
Down time: 1-2 days
Comments: Removes red acne marks
TCA Cross
Best for: Ice pick scars
Down time: 3 days
Comments: Precision scar removal

Lasers for PIH Scars

Best for: Dark acne scars
Down time: 0 days
Comments: Pico laser is the solution
Subcision
Best for: Deep rolling acne scars
Down time: 4 days
Comments: The solution for severe scars
Fraxel Laser
Best for: Mild & early scars
Down time: 4 days
Comments: Gentle resurfacing
Genius RF Microneedling
Best for: Deep acne scars
Down time: 3 days
Comments: Best RF microneedling
Hormonal acne is frustrating 
We provide effective solutions for acne scars

Hormonal acne can be challenging to treat. Unlike normal acne, hormonal acne presents as deep cysts, commonly around the jawline area. In most cases this form of acne results in long term scarring. Dermatologists can effectively treat this persistent variant of acne, & in most cases offer a long-term cure. Lasers & chemical peels can remove acne scars.

Cutis Dermatology is internationally recognised as the go to centre for acne scarring. Our dermatologists have over 20 years of experience in managing all forms of scarring. Combined with the very latest in lasers & energy devices, you can be assured that we can make a tremendous change in your skin.

Our dermatologists have been treating acne since 1994. Since then, we have treated over 15,000 cases of acne with treatments including chemical peels, phototherapy, BBL, topicals, through to acne medication. If you are struggling with acne & would like a treatment that is fast & effective, book a consultation with our team.

FAQs

Why Cutis Dermatology?

Our experienced dermatologists have been treating acne for the past 25 years. We also run subspecialty clinics to deal with all types of acne including a team that manages acne medically and a team that deals with scar mitigation & treatments. 

Our Brisbane based Clinic is renowned internationally for our laser and procedural research. 

What over the counter acne treatments does Cutis Dermatology offer?

Apart from skin care, we can amplify and accelerate your acne treatment with:

 

 

  • BBL treatments including Forever Clear
  • Phototherapy with blue & red-light LEDs
  • Clinical grade chemical peels
  • Extractions of cysts & blackheads
  • Higher strength retinol

 

For resistant acne, our dermatologists can provide investigations and treatments at a specialist level. 

How much are treatments?

Chemical peels are $120

Lasers start at $199

Acne phototherapy $79

 

Book a FREE* nurse consultation in our Brisbane clinics. *T&C apply

Dermatologist consultations are partially covered by Medicare. 

How can our dermatologists help acne?

If you are struggling with acne, our specialist team of dermatologists can help investigate and manage it. We employ:

 

 

  • Lasers, peels and phototherapy
  • Anti-hormone medications
  • Prescription topical retinoids
  • Oral retinoids 

How long before I see the results?

The time frame depends on the type of acne you have and the treatments we perform. In simple cases of blackhead acne, results can be seen as quickly as 24 – 48 hours. Hormonal acne and cystic acne can take a few weeks to months before improving. 

Accelerated results can be expected with chemical peels, laser, BBL Forever Clear and phototherapy. Contact us to book a FREE* nurse consultation at our Brisbane clinics. *T&C apply. 

Acne in darker skin patients - how is management different?

Our dermatologists are experienced in treating all skin types, including ethic skin. We manage skin of colour differently because:

 

 

  • Acne is often more severe in darker skin types
  • Scarring is more common
  • Post acne pigmentation is universal 
  • Pigment can last beyond 5 years

On this basis we are more proactive with our treatments, as we understand how darker skin reacts to inflammation. We have the very latest pico lasers including the Picoway and Picosure Pro to quickly and effectively treat post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

What skin care washes help acne?

Ideally a BHA or salicylic acid wash. Start off with a 2% BHA wash once a day, increasing to twice a day as tolerated. 

Should I moisturize oily skin?

It’s complex, but the buzz word is negative feedback. By moisturizing you are telling your skin it doesn’t require more oil. 

 

A moisturizer also establishes skin barrier function. This reduces the possibility of scars. 

What are retinoids & why are they first line for treating acne?

Retinoids treat all 4 causes of acne, namely they reduce inflammation, bacteria, and oil production and at the same time reduce clogging of pores. Retinoids are classed as first line therapy for acne prone skin. A sensible formulation is retinol 1%. Apply nightly to acne prone areas. 

 

Retinoids take a few weeks to work, with maximal results at 12-20 weeks. Purging is not uncommon. 

When should you take the step for prescription retinoids?

Firstly, if your acne does not respond to therapy after 8-10 weeks of optimal use. Secondly, if you exhibit scarring acne, including post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

 

The way to assess clinical improvement is to take pre and post photos. If treatments are working, you should see a 25-30% drop in acne lesions- count them. 

 

Prescription retinoids include tretinoin/retinoic acid, adapalene, tazarotene and trifarotene. 

What are our top tips for managing acne at home?

Don’t over dry your skin. You don’t need to clean more than twice a day, or you will end up stripping the skin’s outer barrier, leading to dry irritated skin. Recommended cleansers include Neutrogena, LRP Micropeel and Cerave.

 

Don’t pick. If it scabs it scars. Acne patches can help heal pimples, zits and picked pimples. They cost less than 10 cents each and are available from leading pharmacies. You don’t need fancy ones, just hydrocolloid patches. 

 

Let your skin breathe: Avoid oil-based foundation, remember to take makeup off every night & ensure that your skin is make-up free for at least 2 days. It makes a difference. Non-comedogenic is a marketing term – it means products don’t cause acne but reducing occlusion can improve acne.

Don’t underestimate dieting: It can make a huge difference in breakouts. Dieting however is hard, unlike calorie counting, you cannot have a cheat day. It takes a few weeks for a diet to kick in, so hang in there. 

What causes acne?

It’s complex, but it’s essentially genetically driven, modified by the environment, namely foods, stress, occasion, humidity and a multitude of other factors. In females, hormones play a huge role, especially in PCOS. 

 

The physiological basis behind acne can be summarized with 4 main factors. 

 

  1. Blockage of the pore or more accurately the opening of the sebaceous gland. 
  2. Increase in oil or sebum production.
  3. Proliferation of c.acnes bacterium.
  4. Secondary inflammation. 

Effective treatments are geared towards treating each aspect. Retinoids treat all four causes, BBL Forever Clear treats only one; namely it targets c.acne bacterium, whilst salicylic acid washes can target blockage as well as secondary inflammation. 

What is the best acne skincare if I have sensitive skin?

The two standout ingredients are azelaic acid and niacinamide. Don’t use salicylic acid if you have sensitive skin. For acute outbreaks, you are best treated with BBL or lasers over chemical peels. 

 

Avoid benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil, apple cider vinegar and high strength retinoids if your skin is sensitive. For more complex cases, a dermatologist can help. 

What is the best ingredient for brown acne marks?

You can try ascorbic acid 10-20% in the evening and add azelaic acid in the morning. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation improves slowly with topical creams, pico lasers offer much faster clearance. 

When do we use azelaic acid to treat acne?

This potent anti-inflammatory ingredient can be found in wheat and rye. It is useful for treating inflammatory acne, especially in pregnancy. Azelaic acid 10-20% can be used as a spot treatment, as opposed to retinoids where a field treatment is indicated. 

 

In summary, retinoids prevent acne, azelaic acid can treat spots as they appear. 

What is niacinamide & how does it work in acne?

Vitamin B3 can help acneic skin by:

 

  1. Reducing skin inflammation and post acne redness.
  2. Aids in skin barrier function meaning faster healing from pimples.
  3. Reduces oxidation of sebum and oil, in turn reducing c.acne bacteria. 

How do I know what is the best combination for my skin?

Book a FREE* nurse consultation at our Brisbane clinics, they will guide you through skincare and appropriate procedures for your acne. *T&C applies

What does vitamin C do for acne prone skin?

Ascorbic acid has 3 main roles in acne management. 

 

  1. Reduces oxidation of sebum or oil
  2. Reduces post inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  3. Aid in repair of acne scars by aiding in collagen production & remodelling. 

 

We recommend a 10-20% L-ascorbic formulation. This requires careful titration if you are on retinoids & or BHA washes. 

What is granactive retinol or hydroxy pinacolone retinoate?

This is a relatively new retinoid. It occupies a unique position as it is heralded as more powerful than retinol without the side effects of prescription topicals. HPR is useful as first line management of papulopustular acne or as a transition from other acne medication.

 

HPR does not require a prescription. A sensible routine is BHA washes twice a day, HPR application at night to acne prone areas. 

Do acne diets work?

A strict anti-acne diet can be effective in over 50% of cases. The flipside? You go to be 100% dedicated to dieting, with no off days. This means eating NO (it’s not less of, it is ZERO), dairy, including milk, cheese, ice cream, yoghurt, no simple sugars and no refined foods. 

 

Eat more, non-hormone fed meat and fish, organic foods and vegetables. It takes 10-14 days before diets work; maximal gains are at 6-10 weeks.

Why do dermatologists rate acne patches so highly?

Patches prevent picking. Picking leads to scarring. Patches are cheap, about 10 cents each for HC or hydrocolloid ones. They are ultra-thin, so people won’t notice you have half a dozen on your face. 

 

HC provides a moist healing environment. This aids in both resolution of the pimple & reduces acne scarring. Don’t buy the micro dart formulations, they are a waste of money. 

What other supplements can I take?

Zinc sulphate has the greatest evidence behind it. It works by increasing your immune system and in the case of acne, it can potentially reduce c.acne bacteria. Zinc is a sensible supplement; you can buy it from most health food shops. Side effects are rare.

What is Proactiv, & is it any good?

Proactiv is a bleach, it contains 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide, the same active ingredient found in Benzac AC wash, gel & creams. Benzac is significantly cheaper than Proactiv, but you are buying essentially the same ingredients. 

 

We find benzoyl peroxide most useful for treating big areas, like bacne or truncal acne. BPO is a tad bit too harsh for daily facial use, especially if you combine it with retinol & BHA washes.  

 

Is tea tree oil effective for treating acne?

It can be useful in some cases of pustular acne as it kills c.acne bacteria. It is also anti-inflammatory. The downside of tea tree oil is the high skin irritation and allergy rate. Therefore, dermatologists don’t like it. 

What is the go with apple cider vinegar?

We would rather you go with tea tree over apple cider vinegar. With TTO, the worst-case scenario is an allergic reaction, whilst with apple cider, we have seen acid burns that have resulted in long term hypopigmented scarring that requires skin grafting. 

 

Tempted to give the newest acne fad a go?

It’s up to you, we have given you a synopsis of mainstream OTC acne treatments. With a well formulated skin care program, good diet and skin hygiene, you have at least a 50% chance that your acne can be managed without prescription medications.  

 

Just be mindful of new fads, for one simple reason – ‘’the biggest predictive factor for acne scarring is the time taken to effective control.’’

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