Acne is a common skin condition that includes blemishes, whiteheads and blackheads. It occurs when excess oil, dead skin and impurities become trapped inside a pore and cause it to become inflamed. While acne can occur anywhere on the body—including the neck, back and shoulders—it is most common on the face.
What causes acne?
When skin produces excess sebum (or oil), pores may become clogged with dead skin and other impurities. These clogged pores can create blackheads or whiteheads or become red or swollen, resulting in an acne breakout.
What are blackheads?
Blackheads are a mild form of acne that consist of clogged pores. When a clogged pore stays open, the excess oil on the skin can oxidize which causes the dark color of blackheads.
What are whiteheads?
Whiteheads like blackheads, are also clogged pores. Unlike blackheads which are open and exposed to oxidation, whiteheads occur when a clogged pore closes up, causing a white bump to form on the skin’s surface.
What is the difference between adolescent and adult acne?
Acne breakouts in younger skin tend to be more persistent and consistent. Persistent acne is often caused by excess oil production and may be concentrated in the t-zone (the forehead, nose and chin). Adult acne may be more cyclical with less frequent breakouts that is often concentrated in the u-zone (the chin and cheeks).
How do you treat acne?
When you have an acne blemish or breakout, apply a targeted treatment to the affected area to help clear skin. Look for a spot treatment with Salicylic Acid or Sulfur to help effectively target blemishes and help keep skin balanced and healthy-looking.
How do you care for acne-prone skin?
To care for acne-prone skin, cleanse daily with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Exfoliating skin with a facial scrub or other exfoliant is an essential step to help prevent clogged pores which can cause acne. Especially if you have persistent acne, look for formulas that can help reduce excess oil and are non-comedogenic—meaning that they won’t clog pores. Even though your skin may have excess oil, using a moisturizer is an essential step to maintain skin’s hydration levels and a daily sunscreen is a must to help defend skin from sun damage.
Is acne-prone skin oily?
While acne is often associated with oily skin, all skin types—including normal, dry, sensitive and combination—can experience blemishes and breakouts. Excess oil can contribute to acne but other causes like dead skin and cosmetics can also cause pores to become clogged which may lead to blemishes.
What are acne marks?
Acne marks, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, are skin discolorations that follow an inflamed blemish. If blemishes are picked at or go untreated, they are at greater risk of creating a mark.
Can acne marks be reduced?
If acne marks are left behind after blemishes have cleared, they can persist for some time but may fade over time. Using a dark spot corrector and other brightening skincare formulas can help fade acne marks over time for a more even skin tone.