Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest and arms. Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, abscesses and nodules are all types of acne. It is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans annually. It usually occurs during puberty, when the sebaceous glands are active, but can occur at any age. It is also not dangerous, but it can leave scars on the skin.

The glands produce oil and are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands in both males and females. At least 85 percent of people in the United States have acne between the ages of 12 and 24.

Fast Facts About Acne

Here are some facts about acne. More details we will come up with in the main article.

Acne is a skin disease that affects the oil glands at the base of the hair follicles. 3 out of 4 people between the ages of 11 and 30 are affected. It is also not dangerous, but it can leave scars on the skin. Treatment depends on its severity and continuity.

Risk factors include genetics, menstrual cycle, anxiety and stress, hot and humid climates, use of oily make-up, and pimple pressure.

Types of Acne

Acne blisters vary in size, color and pain level. The following types are the most prevalent:

Cysts: Or also known as cystic acne is a severe type of acne where the pores of the skin are blocked, leading to infection and inflammation. The condition of the skin mainly affects the face, but it often affects the upper torso and arms. Cystic acne often affects adolescents and young people, with 80 percent of people aged 11 to 30 suffering from acne at some point. Cystic acne is its strongest form and affects far fewer people. In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that acne was the first reason people visited a dermatologist. It’s painful and full of pus. Cysts can cause scars.

Whiteheads: These remain under the skin and are small.

Blackheads: Blackheads can be clearly seen appearing on the surface of the skin.

Bubbles: Small protrusions, usually pink, appear on the surface of the skin.

Pimples: Clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They’re red at their base, and they full of pus.

Nodules: Can be clearly seen on the surface of the skin. They are large, solid, painful blisters that are deep in the skin.


Human skin contains pores that are connected to the oil glands under the skin. Follicles bind the glands to the pores. Follicles are small bags that produce and secrete liquid. The glands produce an oily liquid called sebum. Sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. Small hair grows through the follicle of the skin. Pimples grow when these follicles clog and oil accumulates under the skin. Skin cells, fat and hair can combine in ingredients. Which causes the spread of the bacteria and exposes the skin to swelling

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is the name of bacteria that live on the skin and contribute to pimple infection. Research suggests that the severity and frequency of acne depend on the strain of bacteria. Not all acne bacteria lead to pimples. One strain helps keep skin free of pimples.

Hormonal factors: A combination of factors leads to the onset of acne, but the main cause is believed to be high androgen levels. Androgen is a type of hormone; whose levels rise when adolescence begins. In women, it is converted into estrogen.

High androgen levels lead to the growth of subcutaneous sebaceous glands. The bloated gland produces more sebum. Excess fatty secretions can cause the cellular walls of the pores to break down, leading to the growth of bacteria.

Other potential triggers: Some studies suggest that genetic factors may increase risk. Other causes include:

  • Some medications containing androgens and lithium
  • Fatty cosmetics
  • Hormonal changes
  • Emotional stress
  • Menstruation

Home Remedies

There are many suggested home remedies for acne, and one of the most common methods:

Diet: It is unclear what role diet plays in worsening acne. Scientists have found that people who follow a diet that provides a good amount of vitamins A, E and zinc may have a lower risk of severe acne. One review describes the link between acne and diet as ‘controversial’, but suggests that a diet with low blood sugar may help prevent acne.

Tea Tree Oil: The results of a study of 60 patients published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Genital and Leprosy showed that 5% of tea tree oil may help treat mild to medium acne.

Tea: There is some evidence that polyphenols from tea, including green tea, applied in topical preparation, may be helpful in reducing sebum production and acne treatment. However, in this case, the compounds were extracted from tea, rather than using tea directly.

Moisturizers: It can soothe the skin, especially when people who use acne treatment such as isotretinoin, researchers say. Moisturizers containing aloe vera with a concentration of at least 10% or witch hazel can have a calming and possibly anti-inflammatory effect.

Treatment Methods

Treatment depends on the severity and persistence of acne. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as gels, soaps, pillows, creams and lotions that are applied to the skin.

Creams and lotions are best for sensitive skin. The alcohol-containing gel dries on to the skin and is best for oily skin. Over-the-counter acne treatments may contain the following active ingredients:

Resorcinol: Helps break down blackheads and whiteheads

Benzoyl peroxide: kills bacteria, accelerates skin replacement, and slows sebum production.

Salicylic acid: helps break down black heads and whiteheads and helps reduce inflammation and swelling

Retin-A:  decreases the number and severity of acne pimples and promote quick healing of pimples that do develop

Azelaic acid: strengthens the cells that line the follicles, stops sebum producing, and reduces the growth of bacteria.

It is recommended that the patient start with the lowest strengths, because some preparations can cause skin irritation, redness or burning when first use. These side effects usually subside after continuous use. If not, it’s better to see a doctor.

Moderate to severe acne treatment

A dermatologist can treat the most serious cases. They may prescribe a cream similar to prescription but stronger medications, or an oral or topical antibiotic.

Corticosteroid injections

If the acne bag becomes severely inflamed, it may rupture. This can lead to scarring. The specialist may treat inflamed cysts by injecting diluted corticosteroids. This can help prevent scarring, reduce inflammation and speed up healing. The cyst will break in a few days.

Oral antibiotics

Oral antibiotics can be prescribed for up to 6 months for patients with moderate to severe acne. These are aimed at reducing the population of P. Acnes. The dose will start high and decrease when acne is gone. P. acnes can become antibiotic resistant in time, and another antibiotic is needed. Acne is likely to become resistant to topical antibiotics rather than oral administration. Antibiotics can control the growth of bacteria and reduce inflammation. Erythromycin and tetracycline are commonly prescribed for acne.

Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives can help control acne in women by inhibiting excessive activity. They are commonly used as long-term acne treatments. It is important to see your gynecologist first as this method may not be suitable for women who:

  • Suffer from blood clotting disorder
  • Women who smoke
  • Those with a history of migraines
  • older than35 years

Topical antimicrobials

Topical antimicrobials also aim to reduce acne in patients with moderate to severe acne. Examples include clindamycin and sodium sulfacetamide. A dermatologist may prescribe topical retinoids.

Topical retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A. They clog pores and prevent whiteheads and blackheads from developing. Examples of topical retinoids described are Adapalene, tazarotene and tretinoin.

Isotretinoin: A powerful retinoid that is used orally, it is used to treat severe cystic acne and severe acne that has not responded to other medications and treatments. It is a strictly controlled drug with potentially serious side effects. The patient must sign an approval form to say that he or she understands the risks. Adverse effects of this treatment include dry skin, dry lips, nosebleeds and fetal abnormalities if used during pregnancy and also include mood swings. Patients taking isotretinoin should avoid vitamin A supplementation, as it may lead to vitamin A toxicity.

Prevention and protection tips

Here are some tips for taking care of or exposed acne skin.

Do not wash your face more than twice a day with warm water and mild acne soap.

Do not rub the skin or touch pimples, as this may push the infection down more, causing more blockage, swelling and redness.

Avoid pimples popping, because this makes scars more likely.

The specialist can treat a pimple that requires rapid removal for cosmetic reasons.

Refrain from touching the face.

Hold the phone away from the face when talking, where it is likely to contain sebum and skin residue.

Wash your hands a lot, especially before applying lotions, creams or make-up.

Clean the glasses regularly as they collect sebum and skin residue.

If acne is on the back, shoulders or chest, try wearing loose clothing to allow the skin to breathe. Avoid tight clothing, such as head bands, covers and scarves, or wash them regularly if used.

Choose make-up for sensitive skin and avoid oily products. Remove makeup before bedtime.

Use an electric shaver or sharp safety blades when shaving. Soften the skin and beard with warm water and soap before applying shaving cream.

Keep the hair clean because it collects fat and skin residue. Avoid oily hair products, such as those containing cocoa butter.

Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight, because it can cause increased skin secretion of fat. Many acne medications increase your risk of sunburn.

Avoid anxiety and stress, because it can increase cortisol and adrenaline production, exacerbating acne.

Try to keep cool and dry in hot and humid conditions to prevent sweating.

Acne is a common problem. It can cause severe embarrassment, but treatment is available and is effective in many cases.