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What Is Acne

Step 1: A clogged pore: As mammals, our bodies are covered in microscopic hairs. Acne begins when the pores that contain these hairs get clogged. No one knows exactly why this occurs, but the researchers here at Acne.org are committed to advancing the science on this front.

Step 2: Non-inflamed lesions: Once a pore is clogged, skin oil that normally drains to the surface gets trapped. At this point, the clogged pore becomes visible and looks like a small, non-inflamed white or black dot on the skin, called a whitehead or a blackhead.

Step 3: Inflamed lesions: Inside the whitehead or blackhead, bacteria feeds on the trapped oil, which can weaken the wall of the pore, causing the pore to break under the skin. This causes the body to react with inflammation, which creates a red and sore, raised acne lesion called a papule to develop. Papules normally fill with pus and are then called pustules, that many people refer to simply as a "zit." Cystic lesions: Sometimes a pore completely explodes deep within the skin, causing larger, painful, long-lasting, and often-scarring lesions called nodules and cysts.
 

Latest in What Is Acne

What Is Acne The Role of Bacteria in Acne While acne is primarily an inflammatory disease, it also involves bacteria. Specifically, bacteria overgrow inside already-clogged pores and can then lead to increased redness and soreness in and around acne lesions. February 25,2019
What Is Acne The Role of Sebum (Skin Oil) in Acne Sebum is the scientific name for skin oil. Without skin oil, acne does not form. Excess skin oil can lead to clogged pores, growth of acne bacteria, and ultimately inflamed acne lesions. February 25,2019
What Is Acne What Is Acne? Acne lesions occur when microscopic pores in the skin become clogged, trapping skin oil inside and providing a breeding ground for acne bacteria. Lesions include whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules (zits), nodules, and cysts. April 05,2019
What Is Acne What Is an Acne Nodule? Nodules are large, red, painful acne lesions that form after a pore bursts and expels its contents deep into the skin, resulting in a severe... February 26,2019
What Is Acne What Is an Acne Papule? An acne papule is a slightly raised, red, sore lesion that is not yet filled with pus. A papule stays on the skin for a few days and then usually fill with pus, becoming a pustule. Because papules do not contain pus, they cannot be popped, and you should not attempt to pop them. February 26,2019
What Is Acne What Is an Acne Pustule? Pustules are what people normally refer to as "zits." They are slightly raised, red, sore lesions that are filled with white/yellow pus. They develop from a clogged pore that fills with skin oil and bacteria. They normally stay on the skin for only a few days, and can be popped when they are ready. February 26,2019
What Is Acne What Is Sebum and What Is Its Purpose? Sebum is the medical term for skin oil that coats the skin and hair of all mammals, including humans. More sebum usually means more acne, but sebum also prevents water loss from the skin, regulates inflammation, fights microbes, and distributes antioxidants and pheromones on the skin. April 09,2019
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