• Level 6, 24 Collins Street, Melbourne
  • (03) 9939 8115


Close up view of acne on a patient at Melbourne City Dermatology

Acne Treatment

Acne (pimples) is a common skin condition that our dermatologists see on a daily basis. The dermatologists at Melbourne City Dermatology are experts in all the acne treatment options available to you. We can advise on skin care, tablets, creams and technology based therapies for your skin.

We understand that acne is often a distressing condition and can have a large impact on your mood and social interactions. Our aim is always to give you the best improvements possible in the safest manner.

Our dermatologists treat many kinds of acne, and patients of all ages, including;

  • Adult Acne.
  • Resistant or scarring cases of acne.
  • Hormonal Acne.

We offer access to all prescription treatments including isotretinoin (Roaccutane) for acne treatment, which is very effective for severe and scarring acne. For information on acne scarring treatments click here. 

In Australia only dermatologists are registered to prescribe isotretinoin. (Pamphlet here: Acne-Oratane- Roaccutane )

Acne FAQs

Your questions answered

What causes acne?

Acne occurs due to blockage of the pilosebaceous unit (oil ducts). Some people are particularly sensitive to naturally circulating hormones called androgens. These hormones cause an increase in oil production, which encourages bacteria to grow. When this combines with a blockage in the duct – a pimple forms.

We ensure that all aspects of this process are treated. This includes treatment of oil production, hormones (in women), bacteria and preventing blockage resulting in the best clearance of acne.

Why treat acne?

Whilst acne may be just a small annoyance for some people, acne that persists and causes scarring can be upsetting. Severe acne can have a significant impact on self-esteem and social interactions.

It is particularly important to treat acne at an early stage, before it leads to scarring. Although there are significant advances in the treatment of acne scarring it is much easier (and cheaper) to treat the problem before it causes permanent damage.

Can anything cure acne for good?

Mild cases of acne may require a short course of medication combined with prescription skin care to reduce breakouts. However, for severe or scarring acne a medication called isotretinoin (Roaccutane) is the only prescribed drug which can  permanently improve acne breakouts. Please note that only dermatologists can prescribed isotretinon.

You may come across cosmetic clinics offering laser treatment for acne. Generally these treatments are minimally effective or have very little evidence of long term success, and can be extremely expensive.

How can I treat the scarring?

We recommend ensuring that there is no active acne prior to considering laser procedures for acne scarring. Therefore a consultation from a dermatologist in our clinic is recommended to ensure any underlying problems are fixed.

For acne scarring treatment options, please see our dedicated acne scarring page. There are a number of procedures which can help significantly. In choosing a specialist dermatologist at Melbourne City Dermatology for treatment of acne scarring you can be sure you receive the most appropriate treatments and expertise in a safe medical environment.

Can anyone have Isotretinoin (Roaccutane)?

You will need to see a dermatologist to determine if your acne requires isotretinoin treatment.

There are some small potential risks involved with taking the medication. These need to be discussed in detail prior to deciding if it is the right treatment for you. This is particularly important for female patients who MUST NOT become pregnant whilst on the medication and strict contraception is required.

How about changing my diet?

While it makes sense to have a healthy balanced diet high in fruit and vegetables, there is no dietary cure for acne. The only medical research with any evidence that diet affects acne suggested that people should avoid extremely high intakes of dairy and sugar products.

Patients who have severe acne have a medical disorder of the oil glands, which usually requires medical treatment. For these patients, diet will have little to no impact on their acne. Focusing too much on dietary changes can be dangerous, as it can delay treatment and lead to further scarring.

What does acne treatment cost?

You will need to book an appointment with the dermatologist to discuss acne treatment options. You can see our fees here. 

If you require a prescription for isotretinoin, it is not an expensive medication, and costs no more than a standard medical prescription. Correctly supervised treatment from a dermatologist is usually much cheaper than the financial and emotional cost of delayed treatment, over the counter creams or beauty salon visits.

How long does it take to see an acne specialist?

At Melbourne City Dermatology, we work hard to keep our waiting list short. It is likely that you will be seen within 1-2 weeks if you have severe acne. For particularly urgent cases, your GP can download an urgent referral form and request an early appointment if needed. To call and check what appointments are available, please ring our receptionists on 9939 8115.