Acne is a very common skin condition that causes pimples. You’ll usually get pimples on your face. Clogged pores cause acne. Teenagers and young adults most often get acne, but it can also occur during adulthood for many people. Treatment is available to clear acne from your skin and prevent scarring.
Acne is a common skin condition where the pores of your skin clog. Pore blockages produce blackheads, whiteheads and other types of pimples.
Acne usually affects everyone at some point in their lifetime. It’s most common among teenagers and young adults undergoing hormonal changes, but acne can also occur during adulthood. Adult acne is more common among women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB). You may be more at risk of developing acne if you have a family history of acne (genetics).
Symptoms of acne on your skin include:
- Pimples (pustules): Pus-filled bumps (papules).
- Papules: Small, discolored bumps, often red to purple or darker than your natural skin tone.
- Blackheads: Plugged pores with a black top.
- Whiteheads: Plugged pores with a white top.
- Nodules: Large lumps under your skin that are painful.
- Cysts: Painful fluid-filled (pus) lumps under your skin.
Acne can be mild and cause a few occasional pimples or it can be moderate and cause inflammatory papules. Severe acne causes nodules and cysts.
Clogged hair follicles or pores cause acne. Your hair follicles are small tubes that hold a strand of your hair. There are several glands that empty into your hair follicles. When too much material is inside your hair follicle, a clog occurs. Your pores can clog with:
- Sebum: An oily substance that provides a protective barrier for your skin.
- Bacteria: Small amounts of bacteria naturally live on your skin. If you have too much bacteria, it can clog your pores.
- Dead skin cells: Your skin cells shed often to make room for more cells to grow. When your skin releases dead skin cells, they can get stuck in your hair follicles