Skip to content Skip to footer
GlycoAla PDT Acne Treatment

We help you feel confident in your own skin

We help you feel confident in your own skin

Acne Treatment

Do you suffer with mild, moderate or severe acne and struggling to find acne treatment that works?

You've tried countless acne skincare products or prescribed acne medication, yet nothing seems to treat your symptoms of acne, acne scarring or prevent acne breakouts

Your skin is feeling dry and sore from your current treatment for acne and you are presenting with more and more oily spots?

Do not despair! We know how acne can affect both adults and children alike.  Often leading to a lack of confidence and self-esteem, many of our patients come to us to finally get a solution to their problem skin.  With many different types of acne and reasons for its presentation, we are highly experienced in providing several successful treatments, which can be used alone or in combination to achieve the clear and healthy skin that you’ve been dreaming of.

Blemish Clinic are proud to be a centre of excellence for acne treatment, offering a broad range of treatment options for the management and improvement of acne.

You may have heard of more conventional acne treatments such as benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or more aggressive forms of treatment such as Roaccutane?  Many of these treatments carry side effects ranging from mild effects such as drying of the skin to much more severe, unwanted side effects depending on treatment.  Many people also find that having the wrong treatment plan or using the wrong acne products for their skin, can make acne worse.

There can be many underlying causes and contributing factors to your acne symptoms, these can range from a family history of acne to an underlying health condition.  These factors need to be taken into consideration in order to offer the best treatment to manage your acne and prevent future outbreaks.

A deep interest in finding an effective acne treatment solution for patients, without the many unwanted side effects, is what led Blemish Clinic owner and dermatology specialist consultant nurse Jan Birch, into the research and innovation of GlycoALA. 

Introducing a new revolutionary acne treatment - GlycoALA

GlycoAla is the world’s only cosmetic photodynamic gel that utilises an advanced glycosphere nanoparticle delivery system for enhanced stability, skin penetration, and results. This safe, effective treatment is designed for skin rejuvenation and conditioning, oily skin, skin purification and enhancement, skin hydration and to minimize skin pore size, sun-damaged and ageing skin signs.

Utilising  hyaluronic acid and Glycosphere nanotechnology to transport high levels of 5-ALA into the skin. These tiny particles (200nm in diameter) are only released in the targeted skin tissue (epidermis) as opposed to sitting on the surface of your skin and blocking pores or causing dryness and stripping of the skin, like many off-the-shelf acne products.

GlycoAla improves skin condition and decreases sebaceous gland activity, ultimately reducing oil production. This treatment helps minimize oiliness, blackheads, inflammatory acne, and enlarged sebaceous glands.  For effective and long-lasting results, it is advised to undergo three treatments spaced one month apart.

Used in conjunction with an activating light source – Photodynamic Therapy (more commonly known as Light Therapy), we can create a cascade of biochemical reactions within the skin.  An extensive amount of scientific research supports the connection between acne and light. Acne spots have naturally producing porphryrins, that’s why your skin improves in natural sunlight. This is a short-term solution due to the fact UV is damaging to the skin.  A few weeks after UV exposure the acne tends to exacerbate and the skin tends get worse.

The bacteria responsible for acne, known as C.acnes, produces these porphyrins (specifically coproporphryn III) which can be detected when exposed to ultraviolet light. Porphyrins react to light, so utilizing blue LED light can trigger a natural photodynamic reaction that generates protoporphyrins. This process leads to the destruction of the C.acnes bacteria and a decrease in their presence, all while safeguarding the skin from harm. Furthermore, the light also helps reduce inflammation caused by acne, promoting skin healing. The addition of photo-sensitive agents like GlycoALA can increase the photodynamic effect and has been proven using clinical trials to be an effective treatment for inflammatory acne.

Who is GlycoAla right for?

Here at Blemish Clinic, we are regulated by the CQC to treat anyone over the age of 13 for acne concerns.  So whether you have mild to moderate acne which includes blackheads and the occasional appearance of whiteheads, or more moderate to severe acne with the presentation of papules and pustules, we are experienced in diagnosing and recommending the right treatment path to get you back in control of your skin.

We always recommend first having a Dermatology Consultation so we can assess your skin problem. GlycoAla is not suitable for all skin concerns. However, the good news is that any skin type can undertake the treatment following pre and post-preparation.

What our GlycoAla patients have to say about their acne treatment with Blemish Clinic

"I never wanted to go onto Roaccutane because of the side effects.  When Blemish Clinic told me about this treatment, I was so happy and to be fair I didn't think it would actually work but it has, and it's amazing!"


The treatment is carried out in two stages. First of all, we incubate the GlycoAla gel on the skin for an hour in a darkened room.  The second stage of the process is to then shine a light at a specific wavelength (Red Light) 633nm. The reason we use this process is to burn off Protoporphryn IX (PPIX) which is highly toxic, and create a Photodynamic response to kill the acne bacteria. This process completes the treatment process. We advise patients to allow for 1.5 hours of treatment time.

The oil-producing glands in the skin, which are found next to hair follicles, generate a substance called sebum to keep the skin and hair moisturized. These glands are influenced by our hormones and individuals with acne may have glands that are especially responsive to even normal levels of these hormones. This leads to an overproduction of oil and grease. Additionally, the pores on the skin’s surface become clogged with a combination of sebum and dead skin cells, as the lining thickens and prevents proper shedding. This blockage results in the formation of blackheads (open, clogged pores) and whiteheads (closed, clogged pores). The dark color of a blackhead is caused by exposure to air, not dirt.

C.acnes bacteria, formerly known as P.acnes, are present on all skin but typically do not pose any issues. However, in individuals with acne, the excess sebum provides a suitable breeding ground for these bacteria to proliferate, resulting in inflammation and the development of red, swollen, or pus-filled blemishes.

Mild acne is classified as having less than 20 whiteheads or blackheads, fewer than 15 inflamed bumps, or fewer than 30 total lesions. Over-the-counter topical medications are typically used to treat mild acne, with noticeable improvement expected within eight weeks.

Moderate acne is identified by having 20 to 100 whiteheads or blackheads, 15 to 50 inflamed bumps, or 30 to 125 total lesions. Dermatologists often recommend prescription medications for moderate to severe cases, with improvement potentially taking several weeks and initial worsening before getting better.

Acne conglobata is a severe form of acne characterized by multiple inflamed nodules that are interconnected under the skin. It can be found on the neck, chest, arms, and buttocks, often leading to scarring. This type of acne is more common in males and can be triggered by the use of steroids or testosterone. Prompt treatment by a dermatologist is crucial.

Acne mechanica, on the other hand, is caused by friction, heat, and pressure on the skin, often from wearing athletic gear like helmets or caps. Sometimes referred to as “sports-related acne,” it is frequently seen in athletes. Taking preventative measures such as wearing absorbent material under sports equipment and showering immediately after exercise can help manage this type of acne.

Severe nodulocystic acne is characterized by numerous inflamed cysts and nodules, often turning deep red or purple and causing scarring. Immediate treatment by a dermatologist is essential to minimize scarring. Corticosteroids may be injected directly into nodules and cysts by a doctor to reduce their size and painful inflammation in certain situations.

Acne usually starts during puberty, varying in severity during the teenage years. For most people it will tend to resolve with ageing and may well go away by their early to mid-twenties. However, acne can persist, or in fact develop later into adulthood.

Problems with the skin are often an indication of something happening within the body,  so it is extremely important to seek advice from a professional who is qualified in examining and discussing your current state of health, medical history and family history. With so many different types of skin problems, only a Dermatologist is trained to identify and prescribe a treatment path that is right for your needs.  A private Dermatologist that is easy to access, will hold your hand throughout your skin journey.  Quickly adapting to your skin changes and needs, ensuring a positive and long-lasting outcome.

How it works
Treatment Time
Discomfort Level
Recovery Time

GlycoALA PDT treatment is utilized to improve skin texture and decrease the function of oil-producing glands, resulting in a reduction of oil production. This procedure helps to decrease excessive oiliness, blackheads, inflammatory acne, and enlarged oil glands on the skin.


Aesthetics Awards 2023 logo
Aesthetics Awards white logo
Aethetics Awards 2018 logo
Safety in Beauty award logo

Ready to start your acne journey with us?  Book a Dermatology Consultation today!

GLYCOALA training is offered in Clinic for Health Professionals.  Please get in touch for more information.

Subscribe for the updates!