Acne introduction

Millions worldwide have acne. It usually starts in youth and lasts throughout maturity. The skin develops pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and other imperfections.

Sebaceous glands overproduce sebum, which causes it. Sebum buildup in hair follicles traps dead skin cells and microorganisms. Inflammation causes acne.

Hormonal changes, especially during puberty, cause acne. Androgens like testosterone increase sebaceous gland oil production. Genetics, drugs, stress, and pore-clogging skincare products can cause acne.

Acne may lower confidence and self-esteem. Blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts may vary from minor to severe.

Acne is curable, despite its bothersomeness. A dermatologist or healthcare practitioner may assist create a customised treatment plan for cleaner, healthier skin.


Factors like:

Sebum production: Skin sebaceous glands create oily sebum. Adolescent hormonal changes cause sebaceous glands to generate more sebum, causing oily skin. Oil production may block pores and cause acne.

Dead skin cells and sebum may clog hair follicles. When the body creates too much or cannot rid these toxins, this may happen. Bacteria thrive in congested pores, causing irritation and acne.

Bacteria: P. acnes is a skin bacteria. P. acnes may proliferate in blocked hair follicles, producing irritation and acne lesions.

Hormonal changes, especially during puberty, may cause acne. Androgens like testosterone increase sebaceous gland oil production. Hormonal fluctuations impact skin cell shedding, causing pore obstruction.

Genetics: Acne may be genetic. If your parents or siblings have acne, you may too.

Corticosteroids, androgens, and lithium may cause acne.

nutrition: While the effects of nutrition on acne are still being explored, dairy products and high-glycemic index diets (refined carbs and sugars) may increase acne symptoms in some people.

Stress may aggravate acne. Stress hormones promote skin oil and inflammation.

Acne causes and severity vary by person. Acne therapy may be improved by understanding the reasons. A dermatologist or healthcare expert may accurately diagnose and provide therapy for acne.


Comedones: Blackheads and whiteheads are non-inflammatory acne lesions. Blackheads are tiny, black pimples on the skin, whereas whiteheads are flesh-colored or white bumps under the skin.

Papules: Red or pink skin lumps. Bacteria and trapped sebum inflame hair follicles.

Pustules: Pustules are pus-filled papules with a white or yellowish centre. “Pimples” are sensitive or uncomfortable.

Nodules: Large, substantial, and painful lumps under the skin. Pus-filled hair follicle cysts get deeper. Nodular acne is more severe and scarring-prone.

Cysts: Cysts are pus-filled, painful lesions. They cause severe scarring. Cystic acne is severe.

Inflammation: Acne may produce redness, edoema, and inflammation.

Scarring: Severe acne may scar. Depressed or elevated scars may remain when acne clears.


Dermatologists diagnose acne. To diagnose your skin issue, they will inquire about your medical history. The appearance and spread of acne lesions determine the diagnosis.

The doctor may do these during diagnosis:

Physical examination: The doctor will check your skin for acne lesions such comedones, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. They may check your chest, back, shoulders, and other acne-prone regions.

The dermatologist will assess your skin lesions, such as comedones, inflammatory papules, pustules, nodules, or cysts. This aids acne diagnosis and therapy.

Additional testing may be done to rule out other skin diseases or discover underlying causes of acne. Tests may include:

Skin culture: If the doctor detects a secondary bacterial infection in acne lesions, they may collect a swab or sample for culture and sensitivity testing.

Hormonal evaluation: If hormonal abnormalities are thought to cause acne, blood tests may be done to examine hormone levels.

Patch testing: To discover allergies in skincare or cosmetics, patch testing may be done.

A doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan are essential. They may assess your condition, investigate underlying problems, and prescribe customised acne treatments.


Comedones: Non-inflammatory acne lesions. Two types:

a. Blackheads (open comedones): Small, black skin blemishes. Hair follicle sebum and dead skin cells produce them. Melanin oxidation in air causes the black colour, not dirt.

b. Whiteheads (closed comedones): Flesh-colored or white lumps under the skin. Sebum, dead skin cells, and germs block the hair follicle, closing it. Whiteheads are closed by a thin skin layer.

Papules: Small, elevated, inflammatory skin lumps. They are crimson or pink and pus-free. Oil, dead skin, and bacteria destroy hair follicle walls, causing papules.

Pustules: Like papules, but pus-filled. They have a white or yellowish centre and red, irritated skin. Inflamed hair follicles cause pustules.

Nodules are deeper, substantial, and painful acne lesions. They are firm and may penetrate the skin. Oil, germs, and dead skin cells cause nodules, which worsen inflammation. They may last longer than typical acne lesions.

Cysts: Large, painful, pus-filled sores deep in the skin. They feel softer than nodules. Cysts, the worst kind of acne, may scar. They need medical care and prevention.

Acne may appear as a mix of several lesion forms, and severity varies. Acne kinds and severity may determine therapy. A dermatologist or healthcare expert can help you choose the right acne therapy.


Acne therapy reduces new lesions, improves acne, and reduces scarring. Acne severity, individual variables, and underlying reasons determine therapy. Common treatments:

Topical medications: Mild to severe acne is frequently treated initially with over-the-counter or prescription topicals. Examples include:

Benzoyl peroxide kills germs, reduces irritation, and unclogs pores.
Salicylic acid unclogs pores, exfoliates dead skin, and reduces irritation.
Vitamin A-derived topical retinoids enhance skin cell turnover, prevent blocked pores, and decrease irritation.
Topical medications may help manage skin germs.
Oral drugs for moderate to severe acne or acne that doesn’t respond to topical therapy. Examples are:

Oral antibiotics minimise inflammation and microorganisms. Antibiotic resistance concerns limit their usage.
Oral contraceptives may control hormones and improve acne in women.
Isotretinoin: For severe, chronic acne. It minimises sebum, avoids blocked pores, and lasts. Side effects need cautious monitoring.
Combination therapy: A dermatologist may prescribe topical and oral acne drugs to reduce oil production, kill germs, and avoid inflammation.

Acne therapy may include dermatological treatments and therapies. Examples are:

Dermatologists and estheticians manually remove blackheads and whiteheads.
Chemical peels: Exfoliating, acne-reducing, and texture-improving chemical solutions.
Blue light or photodynamic treatment may target microorganisms or inhibit oil production.
Laser therapy may decrease inflammation, kill germs, and encourage collagen synthesis to alleviate acne and prevent scarring.
Acne requires good skincare and lifestyle changes. Avoid strong scrubs, excessive washing, and use non-comedogenic (pore-clogging) products. Healthy eating, stress management, and not picking or squeezing acne lesions may help therapy.

For the best acne treatment, visit a dermatologist or healthcare expert. Based on your acne severity, medical history, and requirements, they may provide personalised advice.


Some preventative practises may lessen acne frequency and severity. Acne-prevention tips:

Clean your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water. Scrubbing forcefully may aggravate and exacerbate acne. Avoid strong soaps and cleansers that remove natural oils, which might increase oil production.

Touching your face may spread germs, oil, and grime, exacerbating acne. Avoid touching your face and wash your hands.

Use non-comedogenic or oil-free cosmetics and skincare. These products do not clog pores and cause acne. Check labels for “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free.”

Even with acne-prone skin, moisturise. For hydration without clogging pores, use a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser.

Avoid greasy hair products that clog pores. Keep long hair off your face.

Squeezing or picking acne spots may cause infection, scarring, and irritation. Let lesions cure spontaneously or get expert extraction.

Sun exposure might temporarily help acne, but too much can harm skin and aggravate acne. Avoid tanning beds and use a non-comedogenic SPF 30 sunscreen outdoors.

Stress may cause hormonal changes that cause acne flare-ups. Stress management treatments include exercise, meditation, and hobbies.

Be aware of your nutrition: While the direct effect of diet on acne is still being studied, dairy products and high-glycemic diets may increase acne symptoms. Watch how various meals affect your skin and adapt appropriately.

Consult a dermatologist or healthcare expert if over-the-counter acne treatments and prevention aren’t working. They may modify recommendations, prescribe suitable drugs, and suggest advanced treatment choices.

Remember, everyone’s skin is different. Finding the correct acne prevention and treatment regimen may require time and patience.


Acne medicines are many. Acne treatment depends on severity, individual variables, and underlying reasons. Common acne medicines include:

Topical drugs:

Benzoyl peroxide kills germs, reduces irritation, and unclogs pores. It’s over-the-counter and prescription-strength.
Vitamin A-derived topical retinoids enhance skin cell turnover, prevent blocked pores, and decrease irritation. tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene.
Topical medicines like clindamycin or erythromycin minimise skin germs and irritation.
Oral drugs:

Oral antibiotics: Tetracycline, doxycycline, and minocycline suppress germs and inflammation. Antibiotic resistance limits their usage.
Oral contraceptives: Estrogen-progestin hormonal contraceptives may balance hormones and treat acne in women.
Anti-androgen drugs like spironolactone may inhibit androgen hormones from affecting the sebaceous glands and decrease oil production.
Isotretinoin: Accutane and Roaccutane are oral medications for severe, chronic acne. It minimises sebum, avoids blocked pores, and lasts. Isotretinoin is usually a last resort owing to negative effects.
Combo therapy:

Combination treatment may treat acne by lowering oil production, combating germs, and avoiding inflammation. Topical retinoids plus benzoyl peroxide or antibiotics may be administered.
A dermatologist should prescribe these drugs. They will assess your acne and medical history and prescribe the best drugs and treatment strategy. It’s also crucial to follow your doctor’s dose, duration, and warnings.

Risk factors

Acne runs in families. Acne may be inherited, although the genes and causes remain unknown.

Sebum overproduction: Oily skin is more prone to acne. Sebum overproduction causes blocked pores and acne.

Bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) may cause acne. In blocked pores, this bacteria may cause irritation and acne.

Certain medications: Corticosteroids, androgens, and lithium may aggravate acne or cause it.

Products that restrict pores or irritate may cause acne. Choose non-comedogenic products and avoid skin-irritating substances.

Environmental factors: High humidity and pollution might aggravate acne in vulnerable people.

Friction and pressure on the skin: Tight clothes, helmets, or resting your face on your hands may cause acne.

Stress: Stress hormones increase sebum production and inflammation, worsening acne or causing flare-ups.

These risk factors may contribute to acne but may not cause it. Acne is complicated and impacted by several variables, which might vary from person to person. A dermatologist or healthcare expert may help you control acne and reduce your chances of acquiring it.


Acne causes?
A: Clogged hair follicles, sebaceous gland overproduction, and skin microorganisms cause acne. Hormones, genetics, drugs, and environmental factors may also cause acne.

Q: Does acne just affect teens?
A: Puberty hormones cause acne in adolescents. Adults may have acne too. Hormones, stress, and other variables affect adult acne.

Acne from improper hygiene?
A: Poor hygiene does not cause acne. However, a consistent skincare regimen and clean skin may prevent blocked pores and acne outbreaks.

Can meals cause acne?
A: The diet-acne connection is unclear. High-glycemic meals and dairy products may aggravate acne in certain people, although diet may affect acne differently. Check how various diets affect your skin and modify appropriately.

Stress and acne?
A: Stress may aggravate acne and produce flare-ups. Stress disrupts hormone balance, increases sebum production, and weakens the immune system, causing breakouts.

Is acne curable?
A: Acne cannot be “cured” but may be controlled and treated. Treatment, lifestyle changes, and skincare may lessen acne symptoms and scarring.

How long does acne last?
A: Acne treatment time depends on severity and person. Consistent therapy may improve mild to severe acne in weeks or months. Isotretinoin-treated severe acne may take months to improve.

Are acne scars treatable?
A: Acne scar treatments exist. Laser resurfacing, chemical peels, microneedling, dermal fillers, and others are examples. Scar kind and intensity determine therapy.

Sunlight for acne?
A: Limited sun exposure may temporarily help acne by drying off excess oil. However, prolonged sun exposure may harm skin, inflame it, and aggravate acne. Sunscreen prevents UV damage.

These responses are broad and may vary. Consult a dermatologist or healthcare expert for personalised treatment options.

Myth vs fact

Myth: Poor hygiene causes acne.
Fact: Poor hygiene does not cause acne. While skin cleanliness is vital, acne is mostly caused by excess oil production, blocked pores, germs, hormones, and heredity.

Myth: Teenagers get acne.
Acne may affect anybody, including adults. Hormonal imbalances, stress, and other reasons cause adult acne.

Myth: Chocolate and grease cause acne.
Fact: Chocolate and oily meals do not directly cause acne. However, certain meals may aggravate acne. Diet affects acne differently for everyone.

Myth: Squeezing pimples accelerates healing.
Fact: Squeezing or plucking pimples may aggravate acne and promote infection and scarring. Avoid handling acne lesions and seek treatment.

Myth: Acne spreads.
Acne cannot spread. It is not contagious.

Myth: Sunlight cures acne.
Fact: Excessive sun exposure may damage skin, promote inflammation, and aggravate acne. Sunscreen and UV protection are crucial.

Myth: Stress causes acne.
Stress may exacerbate acne or produce flare-ups, but it does not cause acne. Hormones, oil production, and other factors cause acne.

Myth: Acne will heal without therapy.
Fact: Many people need therapy to control acne and prevent scarring. Treatment may reduce breakouts, irritation, and skin damage.

Scientific proof and dermatologists are essential for acne knowledge. They may provide personalised advice, dispel misconceptions, and suggest treatments for your illness.


Acne: Pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and inflammation on the face, chest, shoulders, or back.

Sebum: Skin oil generated by sebaceous glands to lubricate and protect.

Hair follicles arise from pores. Sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria may block pores, causing acne.

Comedones: Non-inflammatory acne lesions caused by oil and dead skin clogging hair follicles. Open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads) comedones.

Papules: Small, solid, pink or red skin lumps. inflammatory acne.

Pustules: Inflamed lumps like papules. They have a white or yellow pus centre.

Nodules: Large, solid, painful lumps under the skin. Acne nodules are severe, deep, and chronic.

Cysts: Large, pus-filled sores. Cysts, severe acne, may scar.

Exfoliation: Removing dead skin cells. Exfoliation prevents congested pores and improves acne.

Acne treatments employ retinoids, vitamin A derivatives. They regulate skin cell turnover, clear pores, and decrease irritation.

Benzoyl peroxide: A topical antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and pore unclogger. It’s over-the-counter and prescription.

Salicylic acid exfoliates, unclogs pores, and reduces irritation. Acne treatments often include it.

Topical and oral antibiotics minimise acne-causing germs and inflammation. They treat moderate to severe acne.

Estrogen-progestin oral contraceptives. They alter hormones and relieve acne in certain women.

Isotretinoin (Accutane or Roaccutane): An oral medicine used for severe, cystic acne that doesn’t respond to previous therapies. It lowers sebum production and lasts, although adverse effects need strict monitoring.

Sebaceous glands: Skin glands that create sebum, which lubricates and protects.

Inflammation: Redness, swelling, pain, and heat caused by injury or irritation. Acne lesions often have inflammation.

After inflammation or damage, skin darkens. It may continue after acne resolves.

Scarring: Severe acne lesions cause permanent skin changes. Atrophic or hypertrophic (keloid) scars may occur.

Dermatologist: A doctor who diagnoses and treats skin diseases, particularly acne.

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