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Just because acne is a common skin condition doesn’t mean it’s something you should simply put up with. At Skin Institute, our team of dermatological experts are ready to help you tame tempestuous skin once and for all.


There’s a whole spectrum of acne severity – but whether you deal with mild but persistent spots or a particularly severe case, we have options for you. Discover a host of topical skincare options, medical procedures and oral medications available through Skin Institute; combined with the collective expertise of our team, you can be sure of a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Skin envelops you; encloses you in a protective interactive tactile interface with the universe. Trust those who know its deepest secrets to let you face the world with confidence.

Dr Vania Sinovich
Dermatologist, Skin Cancer
Treatment Detail Sheet

If you have booked, or plan to, this information is useful to read prior to your dermatology consult.

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You know how frustrating acne can be, but do you understand why it happens? The pores in your skin are connected to particular oil glands (called sebaceous glands) that produce a substance called sebum. Sometimes, the sebum can build up, and when this build-up combines with dead skin cells (keratin), the result is a comedone – the technical name for what you might know as black heads, white heads or blind pimples. If further skin debris and bacteria accumulate, the comedone can become inflamed – turning into an acne pimple or pustule.

As with any medical condition, getting on top of treatment for acne sooner rather than later can have a hugely positive impact on your life. Early treatment means a reduced chance of scarring – and less time dealing with the emotional stress that acne can cause.

Acne plagues people of all ages, but particularly those going through adolescence. Whether pimples, blackheads, clogged pores, or irritable skin, acne affects people in different ways. You may seek treatment for a variety of reasons:

  • Aesthetics of acne playing havoc making you self-conscious and having an impact on your self esteem
  • Scarring causing permanent damage
  • Traditional supermarket cleansers aren’t making any difference
  • You find it difficult not to pick or scratch
  • Acne keeps getting worse despite all best efforts

Up to 85% of New Zealanders between 15 and 25 are affected by acne to some degree – so you’re not alone! However, some people have especially severe acne, with a variety of causes and factors, which could include:


Hormonal factors (higher levels of sex hormones) due to:

  • Ovarian disease (including polycystic ovaries and ovarian tumours)
  • Enzyme deficiency (which is very rare)
  • Disease of the pituitary gland
  • Disease of the adrenal gland
  • Psychological stress and/or depression
  • Obesity


Environmental factors such as:

  • High humidity causing swelling of the skin
  • Petroleum oils
  • Irritation from hats, headbands, chin straps etc.
  • Certain medications
  • Cosmetics (especially certain moisturisers, foundations etc. – talk to our team for expert recommendations of products that won’t clog your skin)  

If you’ve got mild acne, we can likely treat it with a combination of topical skincare and medical procedures. Remember our treatment cheat sheet? Here’s what you can expect from each step:

  • Unclogging Pores, generally using products with a combination of highly effective Alpha and Beta Hyroxy Acids and Retinaldehyde, which help to prevent blockages by helping exfoliation work the way that it should inside the pores.
  • Controlling oil flow through the topical application of Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), ideal when it comes to getting that sebum under control.
  • Treating acne bacteria with Benzoyl Peroxide, the ingredient of choice for controlling the bacteria – another drug applied to the skin directly.
  • Calming irritation with Vitamin B3 and zinc oxide-based preparations that can be used as a concealer, calming the skin while reducing irritation and accelerating healing time.

Moderate to severe acne will usually require a combination of topical skin care (as outlined above) and oral medication, as prescribed by a dermatologist. A course of medication will often be for at least six months, and may be prescribed alongside other treatments such as steroid injections, IPL or glycolic/salicylic acid peels.

Why Skin Institute?

Since being established in 1994, Skin Institute has been at the forefront of dermatological care in New Zealand. From the beginning, we have demonstrated expertise in the areas of clinical dermatology, veins, cosmetic medicine and surgery, and skin cancer. Today, we are a multi-disciplinary specialist centre, with clinics across the country – and teams of highly qualified medical and nursing staff at each one.

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