Acne is a common skin condition characterised by spots, pustules or cysts that form on the skin. The spots usually develop on the face, back and chest and can be inflamed and painful.
- Causes spots to form on the skin
- Sometimes causes discomfort too
- Various treatments are available to ease symptoms
You can get your prescription acne treatment delivered to your chosen address using our secure online pharmacy service. Find your medicine and take our consultation to have your request reviewed by a practising doctor or UK prescriber.
2 treatment(s) for Acne
- Treats cases resistant to antibiotics
- Also acts as a contraceptive
- Also effective at reducing excess hair growth
- Clears up infected acne
- Adept at tackling other infections too
- Not available from our pharmacy
- Easy to apply cream
- Used twice a day to treat acne
- Not provided through our clinic
- Applied once-a-day
- Reliable branded treatment
- Not available from our pharmacy
- Effective acne treatment
- Unblocks pores and sebaceous glands
- Not available from our pharmacy
Acne is the formation of spots or pus-filled cysts on the skin. The condition can range in severity, from small blackheads and whiteheads to deep and sometimes painful pustules.
Almost everyone will experience a level of acne at some point in their lives. It is most commonly diagnosed amongst younger men and women, with the focus being on those aged between 12 and 25 years. The condition peaks around the ages of 14-19 years and the majority will see improvement as they get older. However, there are people who will live with the condition into and beyond adulthood.
Acne occurs when the skin’s sebaceous glands produce too much sebum. This can happen due to a change in hormone levels often noticed during puberty. For females the hormonal imbalance can also occur when they are expecting their period, or during pregnancy. Sebum is an oily substance used to moisturise the skin and hair, keeping it healthy and lubricated. However, excess sebum can mix with dead skin cells and clog up hair follicles, causing spots. Bacteria that usually lives unnoticed on the surface of the skin can also cause problems, as it feeds on the sebum. It creates fatty acids and waste products that irritate the sebaceous glands, making them appear inflamed and sometimes causing infections.
Acne spots can range from whiteheads and blackheads to large and painful infected cysts. The skin can be damaged if spots are squeezed or burst, the disruption can lead to permanent scarring. Living with acne can have a negative impact on the person’s general well being, as it can make them unhappy and distressed.
Washing the skin with a mild soap and lukewarm water no more than twice a day is recommended. Cleansing with products that contain salicylic acid twice a day can reduce the amount of oil (or sebum) the skin produces, reducing the severity of the condition. However for more stubborn cases, treatment may be recommended. Medications will not cure acne symptoms but they can get them under control and help prevent scarring.
Treatment for acne comes in a variety of forms.
Antibiotic treatments are used in some cases. (These medicines are not currently available from our pharmacy.)
Differin and Isotrex are topically administered products used to treat acne. (Also not currently available.)
Oral hormone pills that regulate the release of androgens and help to reduce acne, such as Dianette and Co-Cyprindiol, can only be taken by women. Use of these in acne should be discontinued after three months, if they are not required for contraception. These work as contraceptives in the body too, which means you’ll take them in place of any other type of hormonal birth control. These are available to order from our pharmacy online.
Besides Dianette and Co-Cyprindiol, there are other pills licensed for contraception (combined oral contraceptives) that may help to alleviate acne for women. If you have acne and are discussing contraceptive options with a doctor, you might find it helpful to discuss these options with them.
Read more about acne and the contraceptive pill.
If you haven’t seen a doctor about your acne in person and are seeking treatment, it’s best to make an appointment with your GP. They will able to help you determine whether medication is necessary, and issue a prescription if required.
If you’re already taking Dianette or Co-Cyprindiol, you can renew your prescription with our secure and confidential consultation facility. Your case will be reviewed by a doctor or UK pharmacy prescriber, who will issue a prescription once they have approved your request. Orders are shipped using tracked next-day courier from our UK dispensing pharmacy.
Types of Treatment
Acne can present itself in varying degrees of severity. It can range from mild blackheads and whiteheads, to large areas covered in painful, pus-filled spots which are persistent and can lead to scarring.
For some, salicylic acid-based cleansing products can help to lower the severity of acne.
Not everyone with the condition will require medicated treatment, as quite often the symptoms decrease with age. The condition tends to peak around the ages of 14-19 years.
However, for more severe or stubborn cases there are various medications available to reduce symptoms.
Treatment may be issued in a variety of forms, depending on the specific cause of the acne. These include:
- oral or topical antibiotics (please note that we do not currently provide antibiotics through our online service);
- topical retinoids including Isotrex and Differin (also not currently available through our site);
- and oral hormone pills for example Dianette and Co-Cyprindiol.
How do they work?
Differin and Isotrex are topical retinoid gels. These work by altering how the sebaceous glands function, preventing the formation of spots. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Co-Cyprindiol and Dianette are hormonal medications which reduce the amount of androgens being released by the body. This allows the sebaceous glands to better regulate the amount of sebum being produced and reduce acne symptoms.
What are the side effects?
Each medication comes with the possibility of unwanted side effects. As a general rule you should be aware that the topical medications may cause a localised itching or burning sensation. More information on the specific side effects for each product can be found on their respective pages.
Can I take them with other medications?
Acne products can interact with other treatments. It is important to disclose what medications you are currently taking or have recently taken during your consultation. Further details for each item can be found on the individual product page.
What’s the difference between the medications?
Differin and Isotrex are topical gels.
Co-Cyprindiol and Dianette are hormonal pills, which can only be used by women. They also act as contraceptives, which means they’ll need to be taken instead of any other form of hormonal birth control.
Should I take Differin, Isotrex, Dianette or Co-Cyprindiol?
Check with your doctor if you have not taken treatment before. This will usually depend on the treatments, if any, you have already tried, the suitability of each medication, and your clinical history.
If you are a woman and have previously used a non-hormonal treatment, and it has not improved your symptoms, then you may be advised to try a different type of medicine such as Dianette or Co-Cyprindiol. Please note that Dianette and Co-Cyprindiol cannot be used by males.
Are there different side effects?
Yes, although not everyone will experience them. The gels that are applied directly to the skin can on occasion cause a burning, itching or tingling sensation. The oral products may make the user feel sick, have a headache or diarrhoea. This list is not exhaustive so full attention should be paid to the patient information leaflet, where more details can be found.
Is it right for me?
Check with your doctor if you have developed new acne symptoms or have never taken acne treatment before. They will be able to discuss acne treatments with you and help you find the most appropriate form of medication.
If you’re looking to get your repeat acne treatment conveniently delivered direct to your door, then our service can help. Take our consultation, and your case will reviewed by one of our medical staff. Once approved, a prescription will be issued and sent to our UK pharmacy to be dispensed. Treatments are shipped by next-day delivery.
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We promise to keep your details secure and private. We will never sell your information or share it with third parties. Whatever treatment you buy online from us, we will send in plain, unmarked packaging via our secure courier service.
Delivery on all items is included in the price. After your order has been dispatched, you’ll be supplied with a tracking number, allowing you to follow the progress of your items every step of the way. We deliver to anywhere in the UK, so whether you’re in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow or Cardiff, your order will be at your door within just 24 hours of approval from our doctor.
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