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Acne Types – And Treatments That Get Results!

Did you know there’s a whole host of acne types? And different types have different causes and treatments? For some, they’re confined to memories of being an awkward teen and GCSE biology lessons. For many, however, acne is a condition that continues well into adulthood.

Adult acne affects over half the population; from mild, infrequent spots to more persistent lesions. And it’s not just uncomfortable and sometimes painful acne that drives people to look for a solution, it’s the effect it can have on your confidence and mental health too.

Acne types vary in severity, although all acne begins in the same way. Here we’re going to understand exactly what causes acne, what acne types there are and most importantly, how you can get rid of it!

acne and spots

What Is Acne?

Acne is the result of a blocked pore. Your hair follicles are next to your sebaceous gland, which makes an oily substance called sebum. Sebum uses the follicular duct to make its way to the skin’s surface to maintain your hair and skin’s health. But too much sebum brings a problem. 


If the hair follicle becomes blocked with dead skin cells, dirt and excess oil, bacteria forms and presents as a spot on the skin. 

What Acne Types Are There?

Acne falls into two categories; inflammatory and noninflammatory.

Noninflammatory Acne Types

Whiteheads and blackheads are types of noninflammatory acne. This means that when they form, there’s no swelling and they’re not usually painful.

Whiteheads are known medically as closed comedones. Closed refers to the fine layer of skin that acts like a seal over the blemish, trapping oil, dead skin cells and bacteria beneath it. Whiteheads are raised white bumps that can appear on your face, chest, back and scalp. While they’re unlikely to cause scarring, they can make you feel self-conscious.

Blackheads are essentially the same as whiteheads, except they don’t have a layer of skin sealing the top. They’re called open comedones, and it’s a chemical reaction with air that makes them look black, not dirt as is commonly thought. 

Skin acne types diagram. Vector skin disease pimples blackheads and comedones, cosmetology and skincare problems treatment

Inflammatory Acne Types

Inflammatory acne is more severe and can be painful to live with. Inflammation occurs when your body begins a healing response to any blemishes and floods the area with infection-fighting white blood cells. Inflammatory acne is more likely to cause scarring and can need prescribed medication to manage it.

An acne papule forms when a build-up of bacteria, excess oil and skin cells ruptures the hair follicle wall. This causes an immune response, making the area tender and red.


A pustule is the next stage of a papule. The white blood cells that were sent to fight the infection die, leaving yellow-tinged pus in its place.


Nodules are large (from 5mm) inflamed bumps deep under the epidermis. They’re the result of a total follicle wall rupture, which is met with a larger immune response by your body. Nodules are hard lumps that don’t contain pus, so they can’t be ‘popped’. They can also remain for months and leave behind scars so treatment is advised.


Cysts are large, liquid or pus-filled lesions. They can last for weeks, and often leave the skin pockmarked.


acne scars

What Causes Acne?

Pretty much everyone has had acne at some stage in their life. Hormones play a huge role in what happens to create acne, so it’s no surprise that different acne types flare up during times of hormonal changes. Hormonal changes typically happen;

  • During puberty
  • During your menstrual cycle
  • Throughout pregnancy
  • Around menopause 
  • As you age

But not all acne types are due to hormones. Did you know that genetics play a role too? The way your body manages excess sebum is programmed into your DNA, so don’t listen to those urban myths about eating too much chocolate or fatty foods.

There are aspects of modern lives that can increase your chances of getting acne. Things like having your phone pressed against your cheek, wearing a face mask or touching your face a lot moves bacteria around and creates an ideal environment for acne.

Some steroids, lithium and epilepsy medicines can trigger a flare-up too, if you are worried about side effects, make sure you speak to your doctor.

Specialised Treatment For Acne Types

Since different acne types have different forms, your treatment needs to reflect your specific skin complaint. We’ve listed our most effective acne treatments and how each can help to resolve the different acne types.


The HydraFacial is a total skin detoxifying treatment that is delivered in stages. The whole experience is relaxing, calm and soothing while leaving your skin free from impurities and hydrated. The HydraFacial is ideal for treating whiteheads, blackheads, as well as papules and pustules. It’s a customisable treatment, so it can be adapted to suit your requirements. The HydraFacial uses a combination of a bacteria-killing laser, skin peel, pore ‘vacuum’ and deeply hydrating serums. At Elite Aesthetics, we ensure that your HydraFacial treats the areas that best suit you.

Click here to learn more about the HydraFacial…

Dr Shirin's Hydrafacial Treatment

Skin Peel

A skin peel is the ideal way to rid your skin of dead or damaged skin cells. Peels come in different strengths and will be tailored to the requirements of your skin. The first effect of a skin peel sees the top layers of skin removed to reveal smoother skin. Depending on the peel you have, this can take a few days. At the same time, your body begins to produce collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin plump and supple, providing you with an ongoing result.

Click here to learn more about chemical skin peels…

The Perfect Peel Before and After


Microneedling is one of the best acne scar treatments we can provide. The process is relatively painless and the results are outstanding, so if you suffer from different acne types, this may be the solution you are looking for.

During your treatment, your skin receives tiny pinpricks using a specialised device called the Derma FNS. One of the most advanced tools on the market, the Derma FNS makes the microneedling process more comfortable and effective.

Following treatment, your skin will begin the natural healing process. As a result of the micro-injuries, collagen production is stimulated. Over the following weeks, you will begin to see smoother, less blemished skin. As you can see from the below before and after photo, the difference microneedling can make is incredible.

If you’d like to learn more about microneedling and see more before and after photos, take a look at our blog post here.


So, if you suffer from different acne types and would like advice on the best treatments, then please get in touch. We’re here to help you get the best possible result to leave your skin revitalised and your confidence renewed.

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Our award-winning clinic is just 10 minutes from Dartford and Gravesend station, 15 minutes from Maidstone and only a 20-minute drive from London.

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What Our Clients Say...

4.97/5 from 1229 reviews

Dr. Shirin is a fully-trained and highly-experienced aesthetic physician, who works diligently to ensure a 5 star quality service, and brings an honest and ethical approach to every one of our clients. With over 20 years of experience in the medical field, including several years as a GP and a sub-speciality in anaesthetics, Dr. Shirin is fascinated by the harmony between medicine and aesthetics, and with her expertise, Elite Aesthetics is able to offer effective, doctor-led treatments to vastly improve the lives of our clients.

To find out more about how we’ve put a smile on customers faces in the past, read our testimonials below for first-hand accounts of a variety of our treatments. You can also find out more about what we think at Elite on our blog, as well as reading more about what the press says about us. Our delighted clients hail from areas including Dartford, Gravesend, Bromley, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, and West Malling – as well as from further afield.

Had a consultation with Elite yesterday, I must say I was a bit nervous, but Dr Shirin was so friendly and helpful.
I was given lots of advice and was given treatment options that were within my budget.
A few weeks after the P Shot I've really started to see a difference and have gained my confidence back.

Thank You!



Elite is an outstanding professional clinic with high standard treatments. All the staff members are friendly and offer you honest opinions when it comes to products and treatments. This is a welcoming clinic that I can 100% recommend. Treatments are spoken through and explained in detail, also aftercare. I have been going nearly a year now and am happy with all the treatments I’ve had, wouldn't go anywhere else. The Bocox treatment started to work within a few days, which I was surprised about. So glad I went to Elite for treatment.



Thank you Dr Shirin, the O Shot has really helped me with my Lichen Sclerosus. I'd heard about the treatment on the LS Facebook Groups and message a few people that had treatment with Dr Shirin. I was like many in the group who had run out of treatment options and using creams on a daily basis. I have to say a few months after treatment, I can see a real positive change and I'm hoping my LS will continue to improve. Dr Shirin did say that I might have to have a second treatment given how severe my case is.




A great discovery in the neighbourhood ! There is no need to go up to London for a beauty treatment of any kind. You'll find a whole range of different treatments suiting all age groups and concerns. Welcoming, reassuring, friendly, professional, high tech. I shall be back for more. I love the results of the Thread Lift I had.


Great service as always, skin is glowing very happy


Very happy with the result of my recent visit. For sure will continue with Elite in future

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We have extensive knowledge and experience in the medical and aesthetics industries, but we know that above all, the results matter! All of our treatments are vigorously tested in-house before we offer them to our clients to ensure they are safe, effective and will give you, our wonderful clients, the results you want. Your happiness, well-being and satisfaction are at the very core of everything we do here at Elite Aesthetics, and as a result we will never over-treat or carry out a procedure that Dr. Shirin, deems inappropriate or unsafe. Ethical treatment guides our practice, and we aim to become an industry leader in this respect. This means you can always feel confident that you are in safe hands when you choose Elite Aesthetics.

Our practice is led by our founder, Dr. Shirin Lakhani, who is an advocate for greater regulation in the aesthetics industry. Dr. Shirin and Elite Aesthetics believe greater regulation is vital to the development of aesthetics industry as a whole, and as such, our clinic’s philosophy is based on providing doctor-led care to the highest, medically approved standards. We adhere to stringent ethical and medical principles ensuring all the procedures we offer are safe and effective. Dr. Shirin is also fully registered with the GMC (reference number 4634863), and Elite Aesthetics is Save Face accredited, an endorsement recognised by the UK Government, The Department of Health, NHS England and the CQC (Care Quality Commission).

Elite Aesthetics has been awarded Thread Lift Certification by MINT Threads.

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Elite Aesthetics
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17:16 05 Jun 23
Hi, Alex here,Just had my Lichen treatment today with Dr Shirin,The whole team at elite are very friendly, comforting and understanding, and did everything they could to give me a wonderful and welcoming experience. They are all so kind, friendly and knowledgeable, world experts at what they do. I am lucky to have them near London. They are also super responsive on the phone and email, so I know they care about thier patients, and I'm very well taken care of, (as with other clinics I have been to, its often difficult to get them to respond to questions), but this clinic is the most responsive I have ever seen!This is a beautiful and wonderful place and I highly recommend it, and I will be recommending it to all my friends as well. They definitely deserve the super high reviews they are getting, so I'm happy to add another one! A Big thank you from me and my family for all you have done for us during this journey!

Margaret QuirkeMargaret Quirke

19:44 11 Apr 23
Great team, friendly and professional. Made me feel very comfortable. They explain everything in detail.very welcoming upon arrival too.I've been going now for a number f weeks and the attitude and cleanliness is consistent. The reception area is always spotless no matter the weather.The staff attitude is always friendly and they put me at great ease

Salima CharifSalima Charif

09:34 30 Mar 23
Good service, honesty and excellent customer service as always 👍

Valerie LambValerie Lamb

08:40 15 Mar 23
Yesterday I had a 'body sculpt' session, to help lymphatic drainage. I was zipped into a suit up to my waist. This massaged and lightly squeezed my feet, ankles, calves, thighs and abdomen. I was breathing oxygen rich air via nasal tubes. It was very relaxing and I slept really well last night. Thank you Elite Aesthetics.

Izzy ChaplinIzzy Chaplin

20:11 09 Mar 23
Today was the first time I visited Elite. The staff were all so friendly and accommodating. Dr. Shirin is so knowledgeable and really helped me understand all the concerns I had. I will definitely be returning. I highly recommend Elite to everyone, especially those concerned with the menopause !


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