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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 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 acne lesions. September 11, 2020
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. September 09, 2020
Emotional/Psychological Skin Picking Picking at the skin delays healing and causes a dramatically increased chance of scarring from acne. Whatever you do, DO NOT PICK at your skin. If you find that you cannot stop yourself, seek professional help. July 29, 2020
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What Is Acne What Causes Acne? Acne is what is called a multifactorial disease, which means several factors likely lead to pimples on the skin. There are many potential causes of acne, including hormones, inflammation, genetics, vitamin deficiency, stress, and diet, amongst others. July 08, 2020
Ethnic Skin Acne Latino Skin and Acne Latino people experience high levels of acne, just like all other ethnicities. However, Latino people may experience more severe lesions and scarring when compared to... July 07, 2020
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