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Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide regardless of age or gender. It can be a source of frustration and insecurity for those who suffer from it. In this blog, Dr. Natasha Shetty dives into the world of acne, exploring its types, underlying causes and the most effective treatment options to combat this bothersome condition. However, if you have been grappling with acne for too long and are seeking more effective solutions, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist near you to seek the right bespoke skincare solutions! 




Acne is a dermatological condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to the formation of whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and in severe cases, cysts. It primarily affects areas rich in sebaceous (oil) glands, such as face, chest, back and shoulders. 




Understanding the different types of eruptions can help treat it effectively. Acne eruptions vary according to the grade of severity and can be seen in various forms.


  • Whiteheads and Blackheads: Also known as comedones (open or closed), these develop when pores are clogged with sebum and skin debris. They can be small flesh, white or black coloured bumps trapped beneath the skin’s surface.


  • Papules: Small, red, inflamed bumps that may be tender to touch.


  • Pustules: Similar to papules, but with a white or yellowish pus-filled centre.


  • Nodules: Large, painful, solid bumps lodged deep within the skin layers.


  • Cysts: Painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin which can be extremely painful and also lead to scarring, if not treated promptly.




Several factors contribute to the development of acne and understanding the underlying causes can help prevent and treat acne.


  • Excessive sebum production: The sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum in excess leading to clogged pores.


  • Dead skin cells: Shedding of skin cells is a natural process but if they accumulate they can clog the hair follicles as well. Regular exfoliation can get rid of dead skin cells ensuring your pores are clean. 

  • Bacterial infection: The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes) can thrive in clogged pores resulting in inflammation which gives acne eruptions the red colour we see on the surface.

  • Hormonal fluctuations: Hormonal changes brought about by puberty, menstrual cycles, or hormonal disorders and pregnancy can trigger acne. It is important to catch and treat imbalances, if any.

  • Diet and gut health: Foods high in glycemic index and dairy products can aggravate acne in some people. Try switching to plant based options for dairy and cutting out artificial sweeteners. This will help reduce gut inflammation and subsequently help with acne.

  • Stress: High stress levels result in the release of cortisol which in turn causes the skin to produce more sebum, worsening acne. Managing stress with mindfulness practices would be a good starting point.




Treatment will often include a combination of oral and topical medications depending on the duration and severity. Oral medications could be antibiotics, prescribed for mild to moderate acne to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation and zinc supplements to prevent further eruptions. An oral retinoid, popularly known as Accutane is preserved for chronic, severe cases that may be resistant to other modalities. Topical treatments that can help calm the red, angry zits are creams, gels or serums containing benzoyl peroxide, topical antibiotics, retinoids, niacinamide, azelaic acid and salicylic acid.


In some cases, it is beneficial to seek a centre for procedures that will give you effective and long-lasting results in the treatment of acne and acne scars. In-clinic treatments can aid in faster healing and can help reduce the risk of scarring and lasting effects of acne.


  • Chemical Peels: With salicylic acid as the active ingredient, chemical peels can help unclog pores by removing the dead skin cell layer while also killing acne causing bacteria. A quick lunch time procedure that can be done every 2 to 3 weeks and takes only 10 – 15 mins from start to finish.

  • Microdermabrasion with serum infusions: This treatment can help unclog your pores congested with excess sebum and dead skin cells. At Skin Series, we use a pore cleansing solution along with a diamond tip to gently exfoliate, leaving you with fresh and clean skin.

  • Microneedling: Primarily done for scarring, the tiny needles involved in this procedure help break the fibrous bands that pull the skin down giving it a pitted appearance. The results can be enhanced by combining it with other modalities like radiofrequency or PRP. 


While acne can be a distressing condition, with the right understanding and treatment, it can be managed effectively. Identifying the type and underlying cause of acne is crucial in determining the most appropriate treatment plan. There are different options available depending on the cause and severity to help you achieve clearer, healthier skin. Remember to consult a dermatologist and create a personalised approach tailored to your specific concerns, as individual treatments may vary.


You can take proactive steps and seek professional advice to regain your confidence and embrace clear, acne-free skin! Contact Dr. Natasha Shetty for personalised acne treatment in Thane.

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