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Acne Education, Process

Why Do We Get Acne? Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Acne is the most common skin condition in the world affecting over 80% of people at some point in their lifetime. In general, most people tolerate and attempt to treat forming pimples, but what is really happening beneath the skin?

It All Starts with the Pore

For every hair on your body, there is a corresponding pore. Acne forms inside pores, the openings in the skin where hair grows. Connected to the pore is the sebaceous gland which creates sebum, a mixture of fats and proteins that protect and lubricate the hair and skin.


Normally, sebum travels up and out of the pore, but blockages can occur. Oil and dead skin cells collect on the skin’s surface and create a protective barrier causing clogged pores. When a pore is clogged, nothing can escape. Skin cells are always dying and regenerating inside of the pore and these dead cells are trapped inside the pore with the sebum.


Areas of the body such as the face, forehead, chest, shoulders, and upper back are more prone to acne because they have the most sebaceous glands.

Creating Acne

All forms of acne start with a clogged pore. This clogging caused by the dead skin cells and oil creates an enlarged, blocked pore called a comedo. If the comedo stays beneath the surface, it creates a whitehead. If it pushes up to the surface of the skin, it results in a blackhead. When the walls of the pore break down, it is called a papule. In some cases, deep, painful, pus-filled lumps form beneath the surface of the skin, called cysts.


These clogged pores are the perfect condition for bacteria to grow. White blood cells come to help fight the bacteria, causing inflammation and pustules to form.


Treatment Options

There is no cure for acne, but it is treatable. A wide array of acne treatments are available on the market today – both over-the-counter and prescription strength. The proper treatment for your acne depends on a variety of factors. Dermatologists have extensive experience in treating acne and are the best option to improve your acne.


Refine Acne Clinics utilizes board-certified dermatologists to review each online consultation and create customized treatment and maintenance plans for your specific needs. Find out more about our treatments and how you can get your acne under control today!

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