4 Clare Street, Dublin 2 (01) 676 9810 | Limerick Clinic (061) 395 410 info@theadareclinic.ie

Acne Vulgaris

Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles are blocked with dead skin cells, bacteria and oil (sebum).  The blocked follicles cause blemishes on the skin:  blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and cysts. The main cause of acne vulgaris is the hormonal surge that comes with puberty. This increases the amount of sebum(oil) being produces by the skin and if this is not removed and controlled the acne vulgaris will spiral out of control.

80% of people suffer from acne vulgaris at some stage in their lives and 20% of those, suffer from acne scarring. In most patients it is a mild self-limiting condition that will be well controlled with a proper exfoliating over the counter skin care regime. In others it can more severe; persisting into adulthood and may require medical intervention. In the more severe cases Roaccutane may be considered.


Most acne occurs on the face, chest, back and shoulders. It can also occur on the buttocks. Symptoms may be mild, moderate or severe.

If you have mild acne, you will notice a few blackheads and whiteheads and you may also have a few pimples. In these cases, a proper skincare regime used daily, should clear away the acne.

If you have moderate acne, you will have an increased number of whiteheads, blackheads and pimples on your face and body and more oily skin.  These patients should be using a more intense skin care regime. We recommend Reform Anti-blemish skin care kit daily and an oil-free moisturiser must also be used with this kit to prevent excessive dryness. If a proper skin care regime isn’t enough to control the acne it may be time to see your doctor. The Doctors may suggest stronger topical prescription agents, oral antibiotics or the oestrogen contraceptive pill for a while.

For severe acne with scarring the Doctor may recommend Roaccutane(isotretinoin).  Usually topical products, oral antibiotics and/or the oestrogen contraceptive pill will have been tried first but Roaccutane is an excellent drug for severe scarring acne.


Generally, a patient will be able to recognise if they have acne vulgaris.  However, if topical products aren’t working they need to see the Doctor/Dermatologist, the Doctor will carefully check the skin to ensure the diagnosis is acne vulgaris and not acne rosacea or similar condition.


Medical drugs can be prescribed by your doctor alongside a proper skincare routine. These include strong topical agents like benzoyl peroxide, retinoids. The oestrogen contraceptive pill and antibiotics are also widely prescribed for the treatment of acne vulgaris. These drugs generally take about 8-12 weeks to work so some patience is required. Your doctor may also recommend alternative to drugs when the patients isn’t keen for drugs and also wants to improve the skin texture, open pores, acne scarring.

These include laser treatments, chemical peels and IPL treatments. These are very effective at treating acne and acne scarring and improving overall appearance and skin texture but are generally more expensive than prescription drugs.

For severe acne Roaccutane(Isotretinoin) may be prescribed by the Doctor.

Our fees

Our doctors are experts in the management of Skin Cancer, Melanoma, Acne, Psoriasis, Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema), Hidradenitis Suppurativa, Lupus, Contact Dermatitis and Hair Loss. They have access to and experience with advanced treatments and technologies that offer the most up to date and best possible care.

Contact Us

4 Clare Street, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (0)1 676 9810 Dublin
Email: ivan@theadareclinic.ie
Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Unit 2, Harvey’s Quay, Limerick
Tel: +353 (0)61 395410 Adare
Email: info@theadareclinic.ie