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Acne & Spots Treatment

Differin has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces soreness and irritation. It is used on the face, chest or back for acne.

Spots, zits, pimples - however you phrase it - for many acne is the scourge of their teen years. Acne is a skin condition that causes spots to break-out typically on the face, neck, back or chest. It generally peaks at 14-17 in girls and 16-19 in boys before diminishing (although occasionally it continues into adulthood).

What are the Symptoms of Acne & Spots?

  • Blackheads - black or yellow bumps
  • Whiteheads - firmer than blackheads with a white centre
  • Papules - small red tender or sore bumps
  • Pustules - red bump with white tip caused by pus
  • Nodules - large, painful hard lumps that build under the skin
  • Cysts - large, pus-filled boil-like lumps

What Causes Acne?

Our skin is covered in millions of hair follicles. Inside each is a tiny gland called the sebaceous gland which produces a natural oil called 'sebum'. During puberty, hormonal changes can cause these glands to produce too much oil so the hair follicles get clogged up with sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria. Soon the follicles become inflamed causing an eruption of unsightly spots.

  • Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy can also cause flare-ups later in life.
  • Acne can range from mild closed whiteheads or small open blackheads, through to large pus-filled cysts.
  • For most people, acne is an inconvenience with spots clearing up over a matter of days or weeks. Occasionally though, acne is severe causing scarring and psychological distress.

How is acne treated?


  • While many spots appear to be crying out 'squeeze me!' resistance is the best policy. Squeezing spots increases the risk of scarring.


  • Wash your face (or body) with a mild cleanser to prevent new spots.
  • Use a water-based moisturiser rather than an oily one that can block pores.
  • Use a non-greasy shampoo and avoid letting your hair fall into your face.
  • Exercise - this increases blood flow, pumping oxygen and nutrients to all the cells in your body including your skin.
  • Use a mild acne treatment - possibly up to three months as acne takes a while to control.
  • Consult a doctor if the acne does not respond to over-the-counter treatment, if you develop cysts that may need professional treatment to avoid scarring, or if you feel psychologically distressed.
  • In severe cases, a dermatologist may prescribe medicines either targeted at the acne-causing bacteria or that help control sebum production.
  • Scarring can be tackled with laser treatment.

At Chemist Direct, we understand how much acne and spots can impact your life. That is why our in-house pharmacy team works to source the best over-the-counter acne and spot treatments available. 

If over-the-counter solutions are not working, perhaps its time to look for a more powerful course of treatment. Try Pharmacy2U's Online Doctor service, where you can speak to an experienced GP about your acne today.