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Image / Beauty

A dermatologist’s guide to hormonal acne


by Holly O'Neill
07th Feb 2020

In the Volume 1 (January/February) 2020 issue of IMAGE Magazine, on sale now, dermatologists weigh in on the ingredients and essentials you actually need in your skincare routine. Here, Professor Caitríona Ryan, consultant dermatologist at the Institute of Dermatologists breaks down everything to know about hormonal acne.


“I often meet women who have been dealing with adult hormonal acne for years,” says Professor Caitríona Ryan, consultant dermatologist at the Institute of Dermatologists. “They are frustrated and demoralised by persistent, grumbling facial acne which often impacts their confidence. Frequently these patients also have acne scarring.”

What to use

“My most important tip is to stop wasting time and money on expensive products and treatments,” recommends Professor Caitríona Ryan. “For patients with very mild acne, topical retinoids can help reduce blackheads and inflammatory lesions.”

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, €4.70

“Over the counter preparations containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can also be helpful.”

My most important tip is to stop wasting time and money on expensive products and treatments.

When to get help

“Patients should visit their GP or dermatologist if they have persistent acne not responding to over the counter acne preparations,” advises Professor Caitríona Ryan. “If they have any evidence of scarring they should seek the opinion of a consultant dermatologist and have a low threshold to commencing treatment with isotretinoin which is curative in the vast majority of patients, and often life-changing. Once the acne has been fully treated, photo fractional rejuvenation (a combination of fractionated laser and IPL used in the same session) is an excellent treatment to reduce acne scarring and post-inflammatory redness.”

Photography by Deciem. 

Read five skincare experts on the only skincare routine you really need in the Volume 1 (January/February) 2020 issue of IMAGE Magazine, on sale now. 

Read more: A dermatologist’s guide to what you actually need in your skincare routine

Read more: Clean beauty terminology explained and debunked by two experts

Read moreAll your dermaplaning questions, answered by a dermatologist

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