Acne: Can we get it at any age?

acne treatment manchester

Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that affects about 80% of people at some point in their lives.

It commonly occurs during puberty, but it can occur at any age. This is because the sebaceous glands which activate during puberty produce oil. These are stimulated by hormones produced by the adrenal glands to cause whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules.

Who does Acne affect?

According to the NHS, acne most commonly develops on the face. However, more than half of people with acne also present symptoms on the back and around 15% on the chest area. Acne is most common in girls from the ages of 14 to 17, and in boys from the ages of 16 to 19. Whilst it often disappears when a person is in their mid-20s, it can continue into later adult life.

Acne is known to run in the family, and episodes can also be caused by hormonal changes, which occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. As a result, there is a significantly higher prevalence in women than men later in life. Hormonal therapies can often benefit women with acne. Even if
you’re not sexually active, the combined oral contraceptive pill is known to help improve symptoms, although these benefits may take a year to become visible.

There are several self-help techniques to help with controlling acne:

  • Don’t wash affected areas of skin more than twice a day.
  • Remove make-up before bed.
  • Shower following exercise.
  • Wash hair regularly.
  • Avoid using very hot and or very cold water.
  • Don’t use toothpaste on the skin – although they contain antibacterial substances, it also contains substances that can irritate and damage the skin.

There are far more effective and safer treatments available.

Although it is tempting, try and avoid squeezing spots as it can cause scarring. It is important to remember acne is a chronic condition and cannot be cured. If you develop mild acne, you should speak to your pharmacist who will likely prescribe a variety of creams, lotions and gels. If your acne is severe, you may require a course of antibiotics or stronger creams.

To discuss a personalised plan for your acne treatment, please get in touch.


Blog Post Author: William Frederick Bolton

Laser Hair Removal: What is it and why get it?

laser hair removal treatment manchester

Despite being commercially available for over 20 years, many potential recipients of laser hair removal are unsure about the treatment procedure and whether they should consider using it. To answer these questions, we have put together a quick guide:

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light to remove unwanted hair. The laser emits a light that is absorbed by the pigment melanin in the hair. The heat this light produces damages the hair follicles in the skin that produce hairs, inhibiting or delaying future hair growth.

The procedure does not stop hair growing indefinitely but delays hair growth for long periods.

Do I need more than one laser hair removal session?

Multiple treatments are needed for initial removal, and maintenance treatments may be required as well. It usually requires a series of two to six treatments. The intervals between these treatments will vary depending on the rate of hair growth in the area being treated.

Are there any side-effects?

There is a risk of side effects that will vary depending on skin type, hair colour and the type of treatment you are receiving. The most common side effects are skin irritation and pigment changes which can darken or lighten the affected skin. Both are temporary and usually disappear after several hours.

What are the benefits of Laser Hair Removal?

This treatment is mostly used to remove hair that is viewed as unaesthetically pleasing to the recipient. If you’re not happy with shaving, tweezing, or waxing to remove unwanted hair, laser hair removal is a long-term option that may be worth considering.

Common treatment locations are the legs, armpits, upper lip and the chin. However, it is possible to treat unwanted hair in nearly any area except the eyelid or surrounding area.

To learn more about Laser Hair Removal, please click here.

Blog Post Author: William Frederick Bolton

Mole Awareness Clinic


As summer approaches and the sun comes out of its hibernation, it’s the time of year when we will be taking off the extra layers of clothing to allow the sunshine on our skin. For dermatologists this is a busy time when those funny looking moles grab the attention of patients and their partners. The ‘ugly duckling sign’ refers to identification of moles which stand out as being distinctly different in appearance. This is an important sign which dermatologists use to identify ‘melanoma’, which is a type of skin cancer, in patients who have many moles. Some patients may have hundreds of moles and are referred to as having the ‘atypical naevus syndrome’ where the ‘ugly duckling sign’ is of particular relevance.

How frequently should I undergo a mole check?

For those who have only a few moles and low risk of melanoma (no personal or family history of melanoma, no history of sun bed use or excessive sun exposure, dark skin) a self-skin examination once every few months would suffice. On the other hand, patients who have the atypical naevus syndrome, previous history of skin cancer/s, strong family history of skin cancers, fair skin, suppressed immunity or history of excessive sun exposure, I would recommend once monthly self-skin examination. Good quality digital pictures of the moles should be taken at baseline.

How do you differentiate an innocent mole from one which is melanoma?

The popular ‘ABCDE’ method comes in handy when assessing moles against baseline photos.

A= Asymmetric. Each one half of the mole differs from the other.

B= Border. A mole with uneven or notched border.

C= Colour. A mole with different shades of grey, black, brown, red, white or blue.

D= Diameter. A mole which is 6mm or more in its diameter.

E= Evolution. A mole which appears larger than the baseline pictures.

I also add an ‘F’ to this mnemonic.

F= Funny symptoms of itching, bleeding, crusting and discomfort in a mole are unusual and should never be disregarded.

What to expect when you see a dermatologist?

If you have any of the alarming signs, you should seek advice from your GP who can refer you to a dermatologist. Any suspicious mole should be examined by a dermatologist who would undertake a full-body skin examination and a dermatoscopic examination of the moles to look for signs of melanoma. Dermatologists are trained to use these hand held illuminated magnifiers which highlight specific signs of melanoma which may not be apparent to the untrained eyes.

Dr Vishal Madan is a Consultant Dermatologist at The Wilmslow Hospital, 52 Alderley Road., Bridgewater Hospital Manchester, BMI The Beaumont Hospital. For more information or to book an appointment with Dr Madan please email: