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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

Acne Scars What Causes a Pimple to Scar? An imbalance in collagen as the body tries to repair the site of a pimple can lead to a scar. Too little collagen leaves an indented scar. Too much collagen leaves a raised scar. Weak, yet chronic inflammation, as well as genetics make some people more susceptible to such scarring. February 26,2019
Other Skin Conditions Can Candida Cause Acne? Candida is a type of yeast that lives on 70% of people's bodies and can cause infection in people whose immune systems are compromised. However, it has nothing to do with acne. If any practitioner tells you that your acne is likely caused by Candida, proceed with extreme caution. February 23,2019
Other Skin Conditions Rosacea Rosacea is a skin disease that affects adults over 30 years of age and tends to worsen over time. Even though it can look like acne, it is a different disease and requires its own treatment. February 25,2019
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