What Exactly Is Acne and How Does it Develop?

Woman AcneA condition that affects nearly everyone at some point, acne can develop on the face, body, and just about anywhere you have skin. Understanding how pimples form can help you prevent breakouts from occurring and better treat blemishes as they occur. Our board certified dermatologists, Dr. Adam J. Mamelak and Dr. Miriam L. Hanson, offer a wide range of effective acne treatments at our state-of-the-art practice. However, the best blemish is the one that never develops.

Your skin is covered in tiny pores, and these pores are connected to oil glands that sit beneath the surface of your skin. The oil, called sebum, is designed to carry dead skin cells along the narrow canal of the pore to the outside of the skin. Sometimes the pore can get clogged when the sebum, hair follicle, and skin cells all try to fit in the same small space. Bacteria can then develop, causing swelling and that telltale pimple. There are several different kinds of acne blemishes, including whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Just as there are many types of pimples, there are many reasons for why they develop. Causes of acne include:

  • Increase in hormones (typically in the teenage years)
  • Hormone fluctuation (such as during pregnancy)
  • Starting or stopping birth control medication
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Oil-based makeup
  • Acne can be the cause of physical and emotional discomfort. Additionally, pimples can leave scars if they’re not treated carefully. We offer the latest treatment methods to help reduce breakouts and minimize the risk of scarring so you can enjoy the healthiest, smoothest, and clearest skin possible now and throughout your life.

    If you would like to know more about how acne develops or how to treat existing blemishes, please contact us today. We can answer questions and help you schedule a consultation with one of our dermatologists.

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    • Helyn Alvarez, MD

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