Dr. Hina Altaf Dermatologist



Acne is a common skin condition that affects many people, especially during their teenage years. It can occur on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders, and can cause a range of symptoms, including blackheads,  whiteheads and pimples. 

Causes of acne 

Acne occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This can lead to the growth of bacteria and inflammation, which can cause breakouts. Hormonal changes, stress, certain medications, and genetics can all contribute to the development of acne. Acne is sometimes associated with underlying hormonal issues which need to be diagnosed and addressed simultaneously for effective control of the symptoms. 

The most important aspect of acne treatment is prevention of scars that acne can leave. Untreated acne can leave a lifelong imprint on a person’s face/body and can have an effect on his or her self-image.

Since acne has many forms, your dermatologist designs an individual approach to care for successful control. Thus, the course of therapy will vary according to such factors as the type of acne, its severity and extent, the tendency to scar and the patient’s day-to-day activities.

In addition to this conventional therapy, your dermatologist may recommend one or more treatments to speed up the  clearing of your acne.

Treatment options 

There are several treatment options available for acne, including topical medications, oral medications, and other therapies. Topical medications, such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and salicylic acid, work by reducing inflammation, unclogging pores, and killing bacteria. Oral medications, such as antibiotics and isotretinoin, may be prescribed for more severe cases of acne. Other therapies, such as light therapy and chemical peels, may also be used to treat acne.

Prevention tips

There are several steps you can take to prevent acne from developing, including:

  • Keeping your skin clean by washing it twice a day with a gentle cleanser
  • Avoiding tight clothing and hats that can trap sweat and oil
  • Avoiding touching your face repeatedly. 
  • Using non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) skincare and makeup products. 
  • Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 
  • Managing stress through exercise, meditation, or other relaxation techniques


When to see a healthcare provider

If you have persistent or severe acne, it is important to see a healthcare provider. They can help determine the underlying cause of your acne and recommend appropriate treatment options. In addition, if you notice any unusual symptoms, such as large or painful pimples, cysts, or nodules, or if your acne is leaving scars, it is important to seek medical attention.

Acne can be a frustrating and uncomfortable skin condition, but with proper treatment and prevention strategies, it can be managed effectively. If you are experiencing acne symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

Minimal Downtime

You can return to your daily routine immediately after

Immediate Results

Results within 24 to 48 hours, with full results in 30 days

Painless Procedure

Brief period of discomfort during the injection, similar to a pinch

Results That Last

Effects typically last for several months

Acne is primarily caused by a combination of factors, including excess oil production, clogged pores, bacterial growth, and inflammation. Hormonal changes, such as those during puberty or menstrual cycles, can increase oil production. Other factors like genetics, certain medications, and lifestyle choices can also contribute to acne development.
While it's challenging to completely prevent acne, there are steps you can take to minimize its occurrence:
Keep your face clean by washing it gently twice a day using a mild cleanser.
Avoid touching your face or popping pimples, as it can lead to further inflammation and scarring.
Use non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) skincare and cosmetic products.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep.
Manage stress levels, as stress can worsen acne symptoms.
The duration for acne to clear up can vary significantly. Mild acne may improve within a few weeks or months with appropriate treatment and skincare routine. However, more severe cases may take several months or even years to show significant improvement. Consistency and patience are key when treating acne, as it requires time for the skin to heal and regenerate.
It is generally advised not to pop or squeeze pimples or blackheads. Picking at the skin can worsen inflammation, increase the risk of infection, and potentially lead to scarring. If you need to address a pimple, it's best to consult a dermatologist or skincare professional who can safely extract it using proper techniques and sterile equipment.
Moisturizing is essential, even if you have acne-prone skin. Many acne treatments can dry out the skin, leading to excessive dryness and potential irritation. Look for non-comedogenic moisturizers that are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin. These products are less likely to clog pores and can help maintain the skin's moisture balance without worsening acne.

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Dr. Hinah Altaf’s clinic is currently at Gargash Hospital, 145 Umm Suqeim Street – Umm Al Sheif -Dubai.