Using a combination of creams, tablets, vitamin A and chemical peels, our general dermatologists have success rates of over 98% in treating all forms of acne, including teen age acne, cystic acne, hormonal acne, bacne and blackheads. This page will discuss some methods we use to treat acne, however I will outline my programs I have developed over the years to reduce scarring in patients with active acne. As of 2016, Dr Davin Lim has stopped treating acne, and is only treating acne scarring. Please book in with Dr Tania Zapalla, Dr Brad Jones, Dr Belle Cominos or Dr Paul Teng for acne treatments.

Important facts on acne treatments

  • Treating acne early is important to prevent scarring

  • Specialists have a variety of ways to effectively treat your acne, including creams, tablets, Roaccutane, thru to chemical peels

  • The cause of acne is often due to many factors including genes, diet, stress as well as the type of skin care and make up you are using

  • High level treatments such as Roaccutane are indicated only if you fail other treatments, or if you have cystic acne

  • In 2012 I discovered that RF or RadioFrequency treatments incorporated into acne treatments can markedly decrease scars

  • In 2015 I have added other programs – using state of the art Picosure laser, and with low density CO2 Fractional lasers

  • Treating early acne scars and acne changes the paradigm of acne management.

  • Dr Davin Lim does not treat acne as of 2016, and focuses only on the management of scarring acne or acne scars

  • General Dermatologists at Westside Dermatology can handle your acne concerns- it is important to have acne under control or in remission before high end scar revision

Why do I have acne?


We now understand that there is no one single cause of acne, but a multitude of different factors that contributes to this condition. The most important factors are genetic, followed by hormones, stress, diet, and skin care. All of these factors can cause bacteria to multiply, pores to block and oil to form. This results in acne.

Acne can be mild and non-scarring, such as black heads and white heads, or extreme and scarring. Extreme acne includes cystic acne and extensive bacne. Regardless of the type of acne you have, general dermatologists at Westside Dermatology can find a solution for you. 

Our dermatologists can find a acne treatment brisbane solution for your type of acne, and can help prevent acne scars. 

What is the very first step in treating acne?

The ABSOLUTE first step is to ensure that you are using the correct products on your skin- namely a suitable cleanser, moisturizer and active ingredients to help exfoliate blackheads and reduce oil production. Diet is another contributing factor in some cases of acne. Reduce sugar and dairy intake may help some patients. 

The majority of acne patients will not need to be on prescription tablets, and can be treated with over the counter acne skin care. Our expert dermatology nurses can guide you through a process of chemical peels, phototherapy and products for acne prone skin.


What types of treatments are there for acne?

We will guide you thru the multitude of treatments depending on your lifestyle, your previous responses, family history but most importantly the severity of your acne. Dermatologists at Westside Dermatology will direct treatments at the factors that cause acne, in some cases it maybe due to oil production, in others it maybe hormonal.

This is an overview of how we approach acne treatments.

Acne Skin care – cleansers and moisturisers. Patients suffering from acne and oily skin will need to have the correct skin care as the basics of treatment.

Cleansers that are endorsed by Dermatologists include Obaji, Cetaphil, Neutrogena and QV Cleanser. Moisturisers that are do not clog pores include the Obaji and La Roche Posay range. The sunscreen of choice is La Roche Posay 50+ Face sunscreen.

Prescription creams, gels, and lotions- These products are prescription medications designed to reduce oil production, normalise bacterial counts and help with breakouts and blackheads. We use a combination of antibiotics and Vitamin A prescriptions to help treat mild to moderate acne. For extensive areas of acne, such as back acne (bacne), a special compounded solution can be used on a nightly basis. The most commonly prescribed creams include Eryacne, Clindatech, Duac, Stivel A, Differin and Epiduo.

Tablet antibiotics– Tablets should always be combined with a vitamin A cream to help reduce antibiotic resistance. A course of antibiotics ranges from 12 weeks to 12 months or longer. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics include Doxycycline, Tetracycline, Minocycline and Erythomycin. Antibiotics are most effective against papular and pustular acne (zits).

What types of chemical peels can help with acne?

Chemical peels-are aimed at exfoliation and decreasing inflammation. They are an excellent method of treatment for blackhead and white head acne, and to reduce oil and congestion. At the acne clinic we have a huge selection of peels. Our Specialists will customise a peel based upon your acne type and your skin sensitivity. In most cases one peel can remove as much as 80% of blackheads. Our peels include the VITA peel- high strength vitamin A- probably the most favoured peel for blackhead acne and congested skin. We also have AHA or fruit acid peels, and BHAs or salicylic acid peels. In patients with very sensitive skin we use lactic acid. Specialist strength peels are affordable at only $98 per peel. Some patients require one peel; others will require a series of peels spaced 2 weeks apart.

More on chemical peels

Chemical peels for acne

Acne treatments Brisbane uses all forms of chemical peels, including the Obaji range for acne prone skin. 

How does blue light therapy or Omnilux help with acne?

omnilux brisbane

Omnilux treatments/ Blue and red light acne treatments- also known Low Level Emission or LED (light emitting diode treatment). This treatment is both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial – it works by destroying the bacteria that causes acne and at the same time decreases inflammation in the skin. Blue light destroys the bacteria associated with acne, whilst red light stimulates collagen production. The very latest scientific evidence shows that a combination of red and blue light works best. Specialist will often combine LED treatments with either topical creams, or with AHA chemical peels. This treatment is especially useful in patients who are pregnant and cannot take tablets to control their acne.

Another method to deliver blue light is with a device called IPL or intense pulse light- this is a much more powerful, but safe way of delivering higher energy levels to kill more acne forming bacteria.

Can anti hormone medications help my acne?

teenage girl with pimple on her face

Anti hormone treatmentsThese are aimed at targeting hormones that can increase oil and sebum production. For females we recommend the oral contraceptive pill such as Diane, Yaz, Yasmin, Estelle or Juliette. Consult your doctor in regards to the use of the oral contraceptive pill. Specialists often use a drug called Spironolactone to control hormonal flares. In most cases it may take up to 2-3 months before anti-hormone treatments come in to effect.

What is Oratane/ Roaccutane and when do we use this tablet?

Roaccutane/ Oratane- This vitamin A tablet is reserved for severe cases of cystic acne or acne not responding to normal treatment. This is a ‘Specialist Use’ drug, is you will need to be carefully monitored during your treatment course. A course of Roaccutane/ Oratane ranges from 6 months to 14 months, depending on your dose levels.

If you acne does not respond to skin care and anti-acne treatments, our Dermatologists may elect to place you on this tablet.

More on Oratane therapy

Oratane is one of the best methods for acne-treatments-Brisbane. 

Can lasers help cure acne?

laser for acne

Laser treatment for acne-Laser can be extremely useful to treat some forms of microcystic acne. I use a special laser called an erbium laser to make a tiny opening in the skin’s surface to extract the cyst. Microcystic acne is also known as submarine comedomal acne. These cysts lie very deep in the skin, and only visible when you stretch the skin. To see if you have microcysts, push your tongue on your inner cheek and then above your chin. If you see tiny 1-2 mm white dots that appear these represent microcysts. Most patients will need 1-2 sessions of laser to remove these cysts. Laser is NOT painful as we use a very strong numbing cream one hour before the procedure. Your ‘heal up’ time will be 2-3 days. Once cysts are extracted, they do not recur.

Another form of laser, called vascular laser, can also help reduce the redness associated with acne rosacea or reduce the redness associated with scars. For brown areas of acne called Post Inflammatory Hypepigmentation, Dr Davin Lim uses either a Pico laser or Q Switch laser. This laser targets pigmentation and pore sizing, gradually reducing pigmentation over 3-5 sessions. 

For more information on acne treatments visit

Acne Specialists

Using the latest in LED therapy, acne treatments Brisbane has natural methods to treat acne, including Kleresca. 

Can acne be influenced by diet?

acne diet brisbane

Yes. It is now proven that acne can be worsened by diet. Diet itself is not the sole cause of acne, but may contribute to flares-up. High sugar foods, processed foods, as well as milk and milk products have shown to flare acne up. Eating complex carbs, and protein can improve acne. Eating a well balanced diet high in zinc may also help. We encourage patients to eat a healthy well balanced diet, low in simple sugars.

Click here to download a Dermatologist Endorsed Acne Diet Guide.

Can acne and acne scars be treated at the same time?

Yes. Dr Davin Lim has published groundbreaking evidence to show that concurrent treatment of acne and early acne scars is the best method. Why? Because early acne scars are much easier to treat compared to late scars. Early acne scars respond better to treatment, additionally patients will have little or no downtime with non-laser treatments such as RF (eMatrix RadioFrequency).

This Acne Free RF Program is designed to treat acne and acne scarring at the same time.

More on the Acne Free RF Program

ematrix brisbane treatment

Acne and acne scars can be treated using RF- this method works!

What is the newest method of treating acne and improving acne scars?

In June of 2015, I started multi center trials on a new laser called Picosure. This laser uses fractional non-ablative picosecond laser energy to remodel two types of acne scars- rolling and atrophic scars, as well as reducing pore sizing. This laser is best for darker skin Ethnic and Asian patients. 

I call this the Acne Scar FOCUS program. This laser works by releasing growth factors from the epidermis or upper layers of the skin, in turn remodelling collagen and acne scars. 4 treatments one month apart is the regime. This laser has no downtime, and is performed by Dr Davin Lim. Caucasian patients have a better response with the use of RF eMatrix or CO2 Fractional Low Density program as the skin type (skin melanin) is reduced. 

acne treatments brisbane

What treatments are there for old acne scars?

acne scar cure brisbane

I tailor all acne scar revision treatments depending on the acne scar type, downtime, and skin type or skin colour of the patient. Lets briefly discuss these 3 factors so you have an understanding of scar revision.

Identification of acne scars– this is the most important aspect of scar revision. Acne scars can be sub typed into box scars, ice-pick or deep scars, rolling scars, atrophic, hypertrophic or lumpy scars, pigmented scars, and anchored or tethered scars. Each type of scar will have an optimal treatment. Examples include-

  • Ice pick scars- best treated with TCA CROSS and Punch Excision, and NOT Fraxel laser / laser resurfacing
  • Rolling scars- best treated with Fraxel and Fractional laser resurfacing
  • Box car scars- can be treated with TCA CROSS or fully ablative laser resurfacing
  • Atrophic scars- can be treated with CO2 Fractional, followed by fillers, dermal or fat grafts
  • Tethered scars- best treated surgically with subscion

Downtime of procedure– this refers to the time taken off by the patient due to recovery. Some acne scar revision procedures are associated with a long recovery time, some with no downtime. Examples include-

  • Fillers for acne scars- no downtime
  • eMatrix RF- 12- 36 hours downtime
  • TCA CROSS- 5-6 days downtime
  • Fractional and Fraxel laser- 3-6 days downtime
  • Fully ablative laser resurfacing – 7- 10 days downtime

Skin colour of the patient- this is very important as darker skin patients such as ethnic skin, will need more conservative settings compared to fair patients. This is because darker skin patients can pigment or darken with laser treatments and TCA peels a lot easier than fair skin patients.

Most patients will have multiple scar types, and hence several treatment sessions are needed for the very best results. If you are fortunate enough to have scars such as shallow to medium depth box car scars with fair skin type, then you may only require one treatment. I never take a cook book approach to scar revision- everyone is treated on the merits of what scars they exhibit.

More on treatments for acne scarring

Why consult Dr Davin Lim for acne scar treatments?

CO2 laser brisbane

My philosophy is to treat acne and acne scars at the same time. This changes mainstream management of just treating acne, as scars are just as important. Scar prevention and reduction using either the RF Acne Free Program or the Acne Scar FOCUS program has revolutionised how dermatologists approach acne and scarring.

For standard acne treatments please book in with Dr Paul Teng, Dr Tania Zapalla, or Dr Brad Jones. Dr Davin Lim only treats acne scars, or acne with a parallel scar reduction program. 

Preventing excess oil production is part of our acne treatments Brisbane skin care as this will reduce outbreaks and give you clearer complexion. 

How do I make a booking to see Dr Davin Lim?

microdermabrasion acne

If you have require acne treatments, please book in with one of the General Dermatologist at Westside Dermatology. Recommended dermatologist include Dr Paul Teng, Dr Belle Cominos, Dr Devita Surjana, Dr Brad Jones or Dr Tania Zapalla. 

Dr Davin Lim does not prescribe medication for acne, and concentrates on procedural dermatology for the management of acne scars. If you have acne and acne scarring, Dr Lim will manage the scarring however will also refer you to a general dermatologist to concurrently manage your acne. This is in your best interest, as acne needs to be in remission once scar treatments are complete. Acne treatments Brisbane- we have one of the highest success rates in acne control. 

Dr Davin Lim on Acne Treatments

Dr Davin Lim
Laser Dermatologist
International lecturer on scar treatments
Dr Davin S. Lim copy

The very first step in managing acne scars is the PREVENTION of further scarring, hence treating active acne is the priority. Most patients don’t realize that the majority of acne can be treated using the correct over the counter skin products such as active Vitamin A creams, exfoliating washes, and gentle cleansers. Using the correct type of make up in women is essential. 5-10% of severe sufferers will need to see a specialist for high end treatments such as Roaccutane.

For early scars on the background of active acne, I perform RF eMatrix- this remodel collagen and scars with minimal downtime. Lately I have been using a new laser called Picosure. This laser is a no downtime laser that can be used in patients on Roaccutane. Like RF, it works best on early rolling and atrophic acne scars.

My acne treatments and research has shifted the paradigm of treating acne scars early – I address both acne AND acne scarring with programs that work.