Acne are blemishes that develop after hair follicles get clogged with dead skin cells, sebum (oil produced by the body) and bacteria. The most common skin problem in the U.S., acne can be stressful and painful and can even cause scarring. Teenagers, who are most prone to acne, often outgrow it. However, adult acne is becoming more common for unknown reasons.


Dead skin cells normally shed after rising to the surface of a pore. However, sometimes dead skin cells mixed with sebum cannot rise to the surface and become trapped inside the pore. Natural bacteria that lives on our skin can cause the pore to become inflamed. If inflammation is deep, an acne cyst appears.


  • Whiteheads, small bumps that are white on top.
  • Blackheads, small bumps filled with sebum.
  • Papules, larger red bumps that may turn into pustules.
  • Pustules, large bumps filled with white pus.
  • Nodules, hard bumps deep in the skin.
  • Cysts, bumps that are softer than nodules but also deep in the skin.

Acne Treatments

A board-certified dermatologist at Pensacola Dermatology can help find a treatment customized for you. Treatments include the following:

  • Prescription Topical Products, including antibiotic solutions, retinoid creams, or salicylic acids creams or lotions.
  • Oral Prescription Medication, including antibiotics and acne-specific drugs, such as isotretinoin.
  • Chemical peels, which can slough off the top layers of skin, where acne occurs.

Prevention and Management

  • Wash skin twice a day and after sweating. Perspiration can make acne worse.
  • Use gentle, alcohol-free products on your face.
  • Avoid scrubbing your skin.
  • Rinse your skin with lukewarm water.
  • Shampoo your hair daily if you have oily hair.
  • Avoid picking, popping or squeezing your acne – actions which prolong the healing process and make you prone to scarring.
  • Stay out of the sun and avoid tanning beds.
  • Try not to touch your face since oil from your fingers can clog pores.

Acne | American Academy of Dermatology. (2018). Aad.org. Retrieved 21 December 2018, from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne

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