Acne, Large pores,

Oily skin

Acne, a prevalent skin condition, affects 80% of Australians at some point in their lives. Sadly, 20% of those affected will grapple with severe acne and scarring. While many individuals eventually outgrow acne, 5% endure it as a lifelong disorder. Acne is a medical skin condition best managed by healthcare professionals.

Understanding the Causes of Acne:

Acne formation involves four key factors, each requiring attention for effective treatment:

Hormonal Imbalances: An excess of androgens (male hormones)  and stress hormone (cortisol) contributes to acne development.
Overproduction of Oil: The pilosebaceous units, or pores, contain hair follicles and oil glands, leading to excessive oil production.
Abnormality in Pore Structure: Irregular or excessive shedding of dead skin cells inside the pore can occur.
Bacterial Buildup: The presence of P. acnes bacteria inside the pilosebaceous units can lead to inflammation and irritation.

The Role of Skin Care in Acne Treatment

A proper skin care regimen plays a pivotal role in managing acne. Key steps include:

  • Gentle Cleansing: Use a water-soluble cleanser; avoid harsh scrubs that can harm your skin's protective barrier.
  • Chemical Exfoliation: Use  beta hydroxy acid (BHA), such as salicylic acid, which exfoliates inside the pore and reduces inflammation.
  • Antiseptic Treatment: Utilize a low-concentration Benzoyl Peroxide (2.5%) to minimize skin irritation.
  • Retinoids: This remains one of the most effective acne treatments, normalizing the function of the pilosebaceous units.
  • Oil-Free Sunscreen: Protect your skin without exacerbating acne.

In Clinic Treatment Options For Acne

There are several treatments that can help clear acne (in addition to skin care and oral medications)

LED Light Therapy: This is a non-invasive treatment for treating acne without downtime or side effects. Prophyrins which are a waste product produced by the bacteria P Acnes found in acne are targeted by the blue LED light (wavelength 402-420nm) and this produces oxygen free radicals that destroy the bacteria.

 Medical Grade Chemical Peels: Alpha hydroxy acids or Beta hydroxy acid peels. Generally a series of superficial peels can help improve milder acne without downtime.

Oral Medications for Acne:

Short-term Antibiotics: Prevent bacteria resistance.
Oral Contraceptive Pill (Females): Regulates excess androgen (male hormone)
Anti-Androgen (Females): Hormone control.
Roaccutane: An oral form of Vitamin A for severe acne, requiring dermatologist supervision.

Outlook for Acne

Improvement typically occurs after 2-3 months, but for some, acne can persist throughout life.


Dr May Marr Cosmetic Physician Lennox Head


Dr May Marr is a Flinders University Medical School graduate and a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She has a long-held interest in aesthetic medical procedures and evidence-based skin care. She holds a passionate belief that people should have access to procedures and products that are research-backed, ethically prescribed and skilfully delivered.

Dr Marr has trained with Dr Jacque Le Coz at the Institute of Mesotherapy in Paris. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Dermatology from the Australian Institute of Dermatology and in 2020 completed her Dermatology Fellowship.

The ethical, educational and procedural standards that Dr Marr brings to aesthetic medicine have been recognised by some of the largest aesthetic companies in the world. She holds advanced injector status and her extensive clinical experience sees her regularly called upon as an industry educator.