• Dr Kathryn Holmes

Why Do I Get Acne? (And how do I get rid of it!)



At the Mayah Clinic, our professional team treat a wide variety of skin concerns. Our goal is to teach clients how to understand and look after their skin - to achieve “skin wellness.” Acne is one of the problems that regularly presents to the Clinic.

It is important to start managing acne early. Leaving it untreated can result in permanent scars and marks on the skin. As well as that, acne is painful, making skin tender and more sensitive to the environment. It is something that can adversely affect mental health and self-confidence.


Do many people suffer from acne? Acne is much more common than some people think! It affects 90% of teenagers, 50% of adult women and a smaller percentage of adult men.


All our lives, skin goes through a process of shedding dead skin cells and producing oil. This shedding process is affected by our hormones, genetics, diet, types of skin bacteria and environmental factors. Clogged pores and pimples start when these elements come together in a particular way. Then pores get clogged, and specific skin bacteria can flourish, causing inflammation in the pore and the surrounding skin. Blackheads, pimples and cysts are all part of acne.


Does dirt cause pimples? Not really. It’s dead cells and oils in the skin that are involved. In fact, if we over cleanse our skin or scrub it too hard with roughy scratchy scrubs, our oil-producing glands will be triggered to make more oil, which makes everything worse!


Drying out the surface of the skin with alcoholic toners will cause this too. The result will be dry, flaky skin on the surface and loads of oil being produced from deeper down.


Is the sun good for acne? NO! UV light messes with the skin’s immune system and barrier function. Not only will it make acne worse, but it will also often darken scars and marks caused by acne. Finding a light textured sunscreen that will not block pores but is SPF 50+ should be a priority for acne sufferers.


Can anything I eat affect my acne? There is now evidence that dairy products in the diet can trigger acne or make it worse. Remember, a lot of protein shakes can contain concentrated milk products.


Also, foods that make our blood sugar spike can make acne worse. This means that high-fibre, whole-grain foods, nuts and pulses are best, instead of simple, refined sugar and white flour. For chocolate lovers, the good news is that there is generally no solid evidence that it affects acne. It would make sense that the spiking of the blood sugar would still be an issue, but dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that the skin loves.


Greasy food like pizza and chips don’t directly create oil on the skin, but saturated dietary fat causes inflammatory proteins to be released from our gut. They can then affect all our body organs, including the skin.


How is acne treated? Treatment plans will be different depending on skin type, age, and severity of the acne. There is a wide range of options, from active, effective home skincare, active facials, LED light, Broadband Light and Laser, Microneedling, and prescription medications. My advice would be not to waste money on products with a lot of marketing hype and little research backing up claims.


See a professional you trust and who will listen to you, understand your needs and recommend a reliable solution. The Mayah Clinic offers personalised skin consultations, skin analysis and treatment plans to suit individual needs and budgets. The Clinic carries product ranges, including Rationale Skin Care, Calecim, Biretix, and Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup.


You can visit The Mayah Clinic at 5/149 Ambleside Circuit, Lakelands or call us on 4954 5044. Visit www.themayahclinic.com.au for more information.


The Mayah Clinic is a professional boutique skin care clinic in Lakelands. They provide a wide variety of beauty treatments, skin care, cosmetic medicine and laser, cosmetic tattooing, Emcyte Pure PRP and Vaginal Rejuvenation.

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