acne symptoms and causes

Acne is a type of skin problem, which makes you have pimples and spots on your shoulders, face, chest, back, upper arms, and neck. You suffer from this skin condition when you have inflammation caused by the blockage of hair follicles due to dead skin and oil. As per the American Academy of Dermatology Association, it is a common skin issue in the United States of America. According to a study of the National Institutes of Health, the current world has around 9.4% people with acne. Here, in this write-up, you will know acne symptoms and causes with acne treatment and preventive tips.

Table of content

  • Types Of Acne
  • Acne Symptoms/Symptoms of Acne
  • Acne Causes/Causes of Acne
  • Acne Treatment/Treatment for Acne
  • How To Prevent Acne
  • Conclusion

Types Of Acne

If you or one of your knowns have suffered from it, you would have experienced several different types of pimples on your body parts, especially face and shoulders. Here are some common types of acne for your reference:  

  • Blackheads, or open comedones – On your skin surface with darker appearance
  • Whiteheads, or closed comedones – raised flesh-coloured bumps under your skin surface
  • Papules – red, small, and raised bumps due to infected/inflamed hair follicles
  • Pustules – small red pimples with pus on the tips  
  • Cysts – large painful lumps beneath your skin with pus
  • Nodules – solid, but painful lumps on your skin surface   

Acne Symptoms

You can easily know you have acne if it occurs to you. Usually, acne comes up visible signs on the face, neck, shoulder, or chest/back. Here are some common and noticeable symptoms of acne:

  • Rough and uneven texture on the skin
  • Discolouration of the skin
  • Skin inflammation or swelling
  • Tenderness or pain with or without touch on the affected area
  • Skin scarring

Acne Causes

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. However, it is most prevalent during puberty and adolescence. The causes of acne can be numerous. And it is often a combination of factors that lead to the development of acne. Here are some of the main causes of acne:

  • Hormonal changes – Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause, can trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more oil or sebum. This can clog pores and promote the growth of bacteria. Androgens are the primary hormones responsible for this process. When androgen levels increase, they stimulate the production of sebum, which causes acne development.
  • Genetics – Acne can be hereditary, and people with a family history of acne may be more likely to develop it themselves. The exact genetic factors that contribute to acne are not yet fully known. However, studies on skin problems suggest the involvement of several genes.
  • Bacteria – Propionibacterium acnes, P acnes, is a type of bacteria that naturally inhabits the skin. While this bacterium is typically harmless, it can multiply rapidly in the presence of excess sebum and clog pores, leading to inflammation and acne formation.
  • Diet – The role of diet in acne is still controversial. However, some studies have found an association of acne with high glycaemic index diets, which are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Further, some research suggests that consuming dairy products may also contribute to acne formation.
  • Environmental factors – Exposure to pollutants, certain chemicals, and toxins can irritate the skin and contribute to the development of acne. Examples of environmental factors that may increase the risk of acne include air pollution, smoking, and exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace.
  • Stress – Stress is known to trigger the release of hormones like cortisol, that can stimulate sebum production and contribute to the development of acne. In addition, stress can disrupt sleep, which can further exacerbate acne.
  • Medications – Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, androgens, and some birth control pills

Acne Treatment

As you notice your acne is creating problems and is painful, you should contact a dermatologist or skin disease specialist in your locality. After interacting with you and having a close look at the affected body part, your doctor will advise a treatment plan that will include dietary changes, medicines, and home remedies.

As per the severity of your acne, your dermatologist/doctor may prescribe corticosteroid injection, oral antibiotics for six months, oral contraceptives, topical antimicrobials, and isotretinoin. Your doctor may advise you to consume foods that have enough vitamin A, E, and zinc. The expert will suggest you to stay away from oily and spicy food items.

As far as home remedies for acne are concerned, you can use tea-tree-oil, tea, and moisturisers to get rid of pimples from your body parts. According to a study of the National Institutes of Health, tea-tree oil is effective to treat mild to moderate acne. The same study advocates the efficacy of green tea in treating acne. Moisturisers like isotretinoin soothe the skin and make you feel relaxed from painful acne/pimples.

How To Prevent Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages, especially during adolescence. It occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells, leading to the formation of blackheads, pimples, whiteheads, and other blemishes. There is no sure-fire way to prevent acne. However, there are several strategies that can help reduce the likelihood of developing acne or reduce its severity. Here are some tips on how to prevent acne:

  • Practice good hygiene – Keeping your skin clean is one of the most effective ways to prevent acne. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser that is formulated for your skin type. Avoid harsh scrubs or rough towels, which can irritate your skin and make acne worse. Also, make sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid transferring bacteria and oils to your face.
  • Use non-comedogenic products – Non-comedogenic products are less likely to clog your pores, which can help prevent acne. Look for products that are labelled “non-comedogenic” or “oil-free.” This includes makeup, moisturizers, and sunscreen. Be sure to read the labels carefully and avoid any products that contain pore-clogging ingredients like mineral oil, lanolin, or petrolatum.
  • Avoid touching your face – Touching your face can transfer bacteria and oils from your hands to your skin, which can cause or worsen acne. Try to avoid touching your face as much as possible. If you need to touch your face, wash your hands first.
  • Eat a healthy diet – A healthy diet can help prevent acne by reducing inflammation and providing your skin with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Avoid foods that are high in sugar or processed foods, which can cause inflammation and lead to acne. Instead, focus on eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Manage stress – Stress can cause acne by increasing the production of hormones that can lead to inflammation and breakouts. To prevent acne, it is crucial for you to reduce stress through activities like exercise, meditation, or deep breathing. Try to find ways to relax and unwind every day.
  • Get enough sleep – Sleep is essential for overall health, including healthy skin. Lack of sleep can cause stress and inflammation, which can lead to acne. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to keep your skin healthy and prevent acne.
  • Exercise regularly – Exercise can help prevent acne by reducing stress and increasing circulation, which can improve the health of your skin. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as walking, jogging, or cycling.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure – Sun exposure can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. It can also lead to inflammation and worsen acne. To prevent acne, it is important to avoid excessive sun exposure and to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 when you’re outside.
  • Consult a dermatologist – If you have severe or persistent acne, you must consult a dermatologist. The expert can prescribe medications or other treatments that can help prevent acne and reduce its severity. Your dermatologist can also suggest you on how to take care of your skin and prevent future breakouts.


Acne is a common skin condition that affects people of all ages. Symptoms include the presence of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the skin. The main causes of acne are excess oil production, bacteria, hormonal changes, and inflammation. Treatment options include over-the-counter topical creams and gels, prescription medications, and lifestyle changes. Prevention involves maintaining good skin hygiene, avoiding triggers like oily cosmetics, and managing stress levels. While acne can be frustrating and sometimes embarrassing, effective treatment and prevention strategies are available to help manage this condition and improve the appearance of the skin.

By Amit Kumar

Amit loves reading and writing a lot. In addition, he likes guiding people through his blog writing. Backed by more than 10 years of experience in content writing and editing, he can write articles, blogs, website content, guest posts, product descriptions, user manuals, etc. He is skilled in writing content pieces on health & fitness, foods, fashion, beauty, technology, travel, career, marketing, and such more. Get in touch with him at

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