What The Heck is Acne? And Why Do I Get These Pimples?

What is Acne? And Why Do I Get These Pimples?

Well, we know acne is extremely annoying! It affects millions and millions of people and can cause low self-esteem and great distress. However, it’s important to know that it is extremely common and almost everyone will get acne in some form or another in their lifetime.

So how does it happen?

It happens when the pores of your skin get clogged up from the oil that your sebaceous glands excrete. Skin pores are actually tiny openings for hair follicles. If the openings are fairly large – you get a blackhead because the center of the pimple darkens from exposure to the air. If the opening is small, you are left with a whitehead – a small, closed bump that appears whiter than the normal color of your skin.

These plugged pores can turn into deeper more severe pimples that are inflammed, filled with puss, lumps or extremely tender or painful.

So can it be treated? Is there any hope besides just waiting it out?

Thankfully – yes! There are proven ways to treat acne and reduce or even eliminate it from your life. Acne doesn’t have to get you down – you just have to step up to the plate and fight it! And the sooner you start, the quicker you will see results.

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of different products out there that claim to get rid of acne. The treatments fall into two main categories: Oral and Topical.

Topical Treatments come in the form of gels, lotions or creams and are applied directly to the skin. They have a variety of ingredients in them that are meant to reduce skin inflammation and unclog pores in order to treat the acne. Some of these products are outright scams – others are extremely effective. The key is to make sure the ingredients in them are actually proven to work – a good start is to visit our recommended treatment page to read up on the best ones out there.

Oral treatments are prescriptions drugs(pills) that usually are classified as “antibiotics”. The most commonly prescribed ones are tetracycline and erythromycin.

For females, there are low-dose birth control pills that some have found to be effective. They work by lowering hormonal activity and the amount of oil produced by the body’s oil glands.

For very severe forms of acne, a prescription drug called isotretinoin (brand name Accutane) is available. It can be very effective at treating severe acne and eliminating it long-term. However, there are many side effects and it is a fairly controversial drug. Some doctors will not even prescribe it as they question the safety of it. Read about it here.

For some basic tips you can use to help with you acne, read our acne tips section. To have a look at the different types of acne, take a look at the types of acne page.

If you are one of the millions of people dealing with acne and you want to learn how to treat it effectively, visit our acne treatments page.

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