What causes acne?

Acne develops when there is an excessive production of oil by the sebaceous glands in the skin, and simultaneously, the skin’s follicles become blocked due to the accumulation of dead skin cells. This increased oil production leads to the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, as well as the more painful red lumps and boils. sometimes the skin pores get so blocked that deep inflamed cysts form. This is called cystic acne and can often lead to permanent scarring. Scarring can also occur if you squeeze pimples too hard, so it is very important to resist this.

Usually acne occurs in the teenage years, but some adults continue to have acne into their mid life.  Sometimes this is due to hormonal imbalance such as polycystic ovary syndrome, but more usually it is just that the grease glands remain overly sensitive to normal levels of the sex hormones.

What makes acne worse?

  • Tight clothing, causing friction and irritation
  • Cosmetics which can block the pores
  • Diet.  This is contraversial but there is some evidence that acne is linked to poor diet.
  • Body building hormones.




Acne treatments

Mild Acne:  When there are just small pimples and blackheads then treatment with over the counter products such as benzoyl peroxide in conjuction with oil free face wash and moisturiser may be enough.

Moderate Acne:  If you also have larger red lumps and painful pimples, then the topical prescription medications may well keep it under control. Oral antibiotics can also be used.

Severe Acne: Isotretinoin is a prescription medication primarily used to treat severe acne. It works by decreasing the production of sebum,  which in turn lowers the chances of pore blockages  Although effective, isotretinoin is associated with numerous side effects, so it needs careful monitoring throughout the treatment. Isotretinoin can only be prescribed in the UK by an approved specialist doctor. At Oxona Healthcare, several of our doctors are licenced to prescribe isotretinoin.

Acne Scarring: If you have suffered with acne in the past, and have been left with scarring, you should visit a dermatologist experienced in the use of lasers. We do not have lasers at our clinic, but we will happily refer you on to local skilled practitioners.


Treatment Options

How much does it cost?

If you have mild or moderate acne, just one consultation may be enough to help you manage your skin successfully.  Book a 30 minute skin diagnosis and management consultation which costs £195.

We are acutely aware that many young people with severe acne also have tight finances so if you need isotretinoin, we aim to give you a cost effective treatment plan. For instance, if your GP agrees to do blood tests for you, just bring the results along to clinic. We also take note of the prices various pharmacies charge for prescriptions of isotretinoin, and will recommend the cheapest one in your area.

How soon can you get treatment?

We aim to get you started on treatment within a few days of contacting the clinic.  If you need isotretinoin and already have had initial blood tests done, we can give your first prescription at your initial consultation.



What sort of appointment should I make?

Your first appointment should be a 30 minute skin diagnosis and treatment  appointment. Subsequent appointments can usually be 15 minute follow up appointments.

Can I claim for my appointment on insurance?

You need to speak to your insurer prior to your appointment. Some insurers will reimburse you for the appointment, but you will need to present any documentation at the time of your appointment for the doctor to sign. Please note that all our doctors are registered with the GMC on the GP register not the consultant register. Please ensure you make this clear to your insurers at the outset.

How it works

From the moment you book your appointment to post-treatment care, we’re here to support you.

  • Booking your appointment
    With Oxona, there’s no need for a referral and you can book your appointment online, over the phone or by email. All appointments require a pre-paid deposit due at the time of booking.
  • Consultation
    Our specialists will give you the time you need to discuss your problem, making sure you are truly heard. Your questions will be answered with understanding and impartial advice, so you feel ready to make an informed decision.
  • Treatment plan
    Our treatment plans are based on you as an individual, rather than off the shelf. Taking into account your symptoms, medical history and any anxieties, we’ll explore all available options and respect your decisions.
  • Aftercare
    Your care doesn’t end after your treatment. Our team are on hand to offer free post-operative support, and to answer any questions about your treatment plan.
Get Started

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Burford women's health appointments available. Phone for availability.

Weekend appointments now available in Oxford and St Albans