Acne Treatment

Dermatologist for Acne: Dr. Sasi Attili

This page has been designed to address common questions regarding acne and its treatment.

If you would like to seek online advice regarding Acne Treatment, simply post your question in the question box on the right.

The FAQ section and other links in the top menu bar, should give you all the information you need, regarding the consultation process. Dr. Attili is online now & waiting to answer your questions.

 Check out what previous patients have asked Dr. Attili

What is Acne and what are its causes?

Acne is an inflammatory skin problem seen usually over the face and trunk in teenagers and young adults. 'Pimples' is the colloquial name for acne. Most people cease to have problems with acne by their early 20’s, but in moderate/ severe untreated cases, it can persist for longer. During the rapidly growing teenage years sebaceous/ oil glands over the face and trunk become very active under the influence of hormones. This along with a few genetic factors also induces narrowing of the skin pores into which these glands open. This leads to these pores getting blocked (these are called comedones), leading to accumulation of oil, inside the pores.  Bacteria and yeasts break this oil/fat into fatty acids which produces inflammation and pus. Left untreated this can lead to scarring and pigmentation.

What are black heads and white heads?

Black heads are the pores blocked by skin scales, dirt and hardened fat. These are also called ‘open comedones’. White heads are similar but covered by a thin skin layer, also called ‘closed comedones’. Comedones (black or white heads) are the earliest stage of acne.  Inflammation and infection of these blocked glands results in accumulation of pus, called ‘pustular acne’.  The aim of acne treatment is not only to treat the secondary inflammation, but to prevent comedone formation. This is only possible with topical or systemic retinoids.

What is the best adult acne treatment? How to treat severe acne?

What is best for you depends on the type and severity of your acne.  Left untreated acne can cause severe problems with scarring and pigmentation. With effective treatment however, acne can certainly be cured (though well controlled is probably a better word as one cannot guarantee the occasional spot).

A number of treatment options exist including topical retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, topical and systemic antibiotics and systemic retinoids.  Skin peeling (chemical or microdermabrasion) can open the pores, remove the dead skin and help with mild scarring/ pigmentation problems. However, treatment needs to be individualised and tailored to ones needs, depending on the severity of your acne. Doctors like Dr. Attili, who are specialists in treating skin disease can recommend what is best for you. 

Do birth control pills help acne? Are there any side effects?

Yes. In women, birth control pills (oral contraceptive pills or OCP’s) can help with acne, but only the ones that contain special hormones that counter the natural male hormones (androgens). These chemicals are called antiandrogens. 

The side effects of these treatments are similar to that of other OCP’s. However you will need to speak to your doctor to assess risk if you have any family or personal history of breast cancer, blood clots in your legs, migraine, high blood pressure, liver disease, or if you are obese and or smoke.

What is the best acne scar treatment? 

Most acne scarring and pigmentation resolves with time. However a significant minority do have long-term problems. A number of options are available for treatment of acne scars, including topical retinoids, sunscreens, depigmenting agents, chemical peels and LASER resurfacing. However one should seek these acne treatments only from a trained and experienced Dermatologist. Acne treated by improperly administered therapy, can worsen the condition. Moreover not all therapies are suitable for everyone. Consult our Dermatologist online for advice regarding what would work best for you.

Should I change my Diet? Does diet/ fatty food affect acne?

Historically the role of diet in acne was thought to be a myth. However recent studies have suggested that dairy products and foods with high glycaemic index can influence hormonal and inflammatory factors, which can increase acne prevalence and severity. Studies have been inconclusive regarding the association between acne and other foods.

So in essence, yes if possible avoid foods with high fat content and foods with a high glycaemic index (see the Wikipedia link above).

Are home/ Chinese/ natural remedies for acne helpful? Do they prevent acne? How to know if they are suitable for me?

Some home remedies can be helpful, but in general commercial and internet based companies claiming to sell herbal/ Chinese remedies for acne, are a sham. Your facial skin is very sensitive. Do not experiment with home remedies and commercial creams, unless you speak to a dermatologist. Acne and pigmentation can get worse with some home remedies.

Also Read: What is Microdermabrasion? 

How to prevent acne? Salon Facial peels and Microdermabrasion: Would they help my Acne?

Salon facial peels are performed by technicians who have no medical knowledge regarding skin diseases or their treatment. Over the years, we have seen a number of patients with irreversible side effects from facial cosmetic procedures performed by unqualified personnel. Some facial cosmetic procedures can make acne (and other skin problems) worse. Dermatologists are specifically trained to diagnose and treat skin disease and when possible always seek assistance from a qualified Dermatologist. Microdermabrasion should be performed only by an experienced dermatologist or under specialist supervision, who will decide when the skin is ready for treatment, and skin is adequately primed with exfoliating medications.

Is there a 'natural' acne treatment available that works? Do home remedies work for adult acne treatment?

The word 'natural' is hyped quite a lot by the media and the big brands. Unfortunately most of the so called 'natural' treatments are not scientifically tested. If they are, they would have been (and would be) adopted by the scientific community. In any case, most acne products are derived from nature. So the question is sort of counter intuitive. Similarly, home remedies can sometimes cause acne themselves and are not recommended. Having said that, a few of the treatments discussed above are available over the counter, and can be taken, without having to see a doctor. Acne is an easy disease to treat, if you know what you are doing!

Any other questions? Please post them in the question box on the top right. Our Dermatologist is waiting to answer your question.

Clients' Say

  •  Very convenient for busy people. Easy to use and the response came very quickly. Re-assuring, but thorough with explanations. I would recommend this to my friends if they needed a consultation that could fit in their work schedules.

  • The best asset of the online service is being able to follow up on the email consultation with a phone call. Sometimes there are additional questions and details that are needed which really help to speak to someone in person. This is the main reason I choose this service instead of other on-line services. If I can get email advice and a follow-up phone call to discus ...

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  • Having had a patch of spots on my face for around a year, and a conflicting diagnosis from two different GP’s, I decided to seek a private consultation from a dermatologist. I looked into the cost of consultations at private hospitals and found that the prices were extremely high. When I found this site I was initially unsure about seeking a consultation online, ...

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  • Fast. professional, understanding and most of all very caring. Such a vital first class service. Would highly recommend to anyone. Dr put my mind at rest and reassured me. Thank you so much.

  •  Dr Attili is God's gift to Americans in the UK that cannot comprehend the red tape, or let's wait and watch attitude which seems to personify the NHS. Fortunately I was blessed with top of the line medical care in the USA and so when I came to the UK and needed help with my skin, I was left chasing NHS appointment admin staff, secretaries, and even van drivers w ...

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  •  I was very apprehensive at first but must say the response I receive was brilliant, e-mails and replies within minutes, was asked all the right questions, I also received a telephone call from the Dr in the evening asking for more information about my son's skin condition. Excellent Service

  • I received a fast initial response and several further replies. The emails had a friendly and personal tone and I felt that Dr Attili really wanted to help me. My experience of Consultants in the past has been that they are looking for a quick solution which isn't always the correct one. I was definitely skeptical beforehand but couldn't find any negative reviews so g ...

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  • The initial consult via the internet and telephone was extremely helpful. Dr Attili was very professional and knowledgable, he was able to answer any questions that I had. He gave a diagnosis and prescribed a treatment plan from the information I provided. Since the initial consult, I have also had a further face to face consultation in which he was able to provide fu ...

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  • Thank you so very much for your care and concern. She has been put on Propaderm 1 in 10 and is using the petroleum jelly as a moisturiser as you suggested. I have to say that it is all looking much better apart from her hands which are extremely dry, sore and peeling. I want to thank you for the way that you have listened to my concerns as we have all been so very wor ...

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  • Thanks! Firstly for your speedy response and diagnosis. This is a fantastic service, particularly with me being in Indonesia. I will certainly recommend it based on those merits alone. Secondly, it's nice to know there is no immediate concern. And thirdly, the link provided was very useful. It certainly got me thinking, I should definitely be more cautious in the sun. ...

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  • I could only describe it as exceptional customer service. Dr Attili's professionalism shines through in his personal recognition of his patients needs. He has an understanding, respectful manner that is demonstrated in his empathic and courteous treatment of his patients. Dr Attili definitely has his finger on the pulse; from his state-of-the-art website to his clinic ...

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  •  Very quick and informative. Dr. Atilli answered my questions promptly and gave me expert advice. For almost 1/10th the price of a consultation with a consultant dermatologist in London, i think this website is great value for money. Thanks to Dr. Atilli. Axxxxx Ixxxxxx, London.

  •  Excellent!!! Very quick, great value, excellent responsiveness when I had a problem, but most importantly it was the best advice I've had yet! I am so very grateful. Having battled with my daughter's rampant Molluscum for months, she's been absolutely covered with them, they are finally being treated. The cream you recommended has had a dramatic impact on all t ...

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  •  Wow, that is fantastic that you were able to identify my rash that quickly. Good job! I really appreciate your help and your professional advice. Thanks for everything! Have a good afternoon! And keep up the amazing work!

  • ‘Best dermatologist (and doctor) I have had contact with. Strongly recommended! I have been to dozens of doctors because of my neurological condition, so I have had my fair share of contact with doctors. But I have never ever come across any doctors with a professionality level and courteousness anywhere close. Shortly put: Strongly recommended! 1 out of 1 peopl ...

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  • The service exceeded my expectations in all respects, the derm is extremely proffessional, and unbelievably affordable. The entire service was so personal, it was akin to having an in-person session. Very satisfied and strongly recommend! 

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