It is a common misconception to believe that acne only includes pimples. Acne can also include:
- Blackheads (open comedones)
- Whiteheads (closed comedones)
- Papules (red bumps)
- Pustules (red bumps with white centers, what many people call pimples)
Acne can show up on the face, chest, back, shoulders, neck and upper arms. While acne affects mostly teenagers, and almost all teenagers have some form of acne, adults of any age can also have mild or severe acne to cystic acne which can potentially have psychological effects such as anxiety and depression.
What triggers Acne?
An extremely common diagnosis, nearly 85% of all adolescents experience acne in a form of blackhead or pimple at some point. A person can be more at risk for developing acne if they are genetically predisposed to acne prone skin. Acne will first appear when pores clog. Clogged pores can occur from dead skin cells or oily skin. The clog begins with dead skin cells. Typically, dead skin cells are shed daily.
Normal skin also naturally creates sebum, which is a critical oil that helps our skin from drying out. When sebum production is increased during life phases, the extra oil can cause dead cells to stick together, trapping them in the pores. Within pores, bacteria have the ultimate environment for multiplying quickly, especially if there is excessive oil. The perfect storm of bacteria and oil within the pore leads to skin irritation and becomes inflamed. This can cause an acne cyst or nodule to form.