Acne: causes, treatment, remedies, and how to get rid of it

For many years Acne has been one of the most emerging problems of puberty. It appears as early as the 13th year old and affects the facial skin. Sometimes it can also affect other parts of the body like the back and the limps.

Did you know that almost 50% of the visits to a dermatologist under the age of 18 are due to acne issues? While there are many remedies and medical treatments for Acne, it could persist into adulthood. 

Now it would be useful to analyze the definition of Acne in-depth and give a helpful insight into the symptoms. 

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that happens due to ingrown hair follicles mostly on your facial skin. Glands usually secrete more oil to the surface, creating pimples and spots. These pimples can get infected from bacteria, generally residing on your facial skin.

Then puss fills the pimples and gives the impression of pores inflammation. Acne is one of the main reasons teenagers visit their dermatologists for treatment and diagnosis.

However, Acne is not the privilege of younger people. It seems like more and more adults may face skin pimples and breakouts. 

Symptoms of Acne

1 – Whiteheads

These are oil and grease accumulation beneath the surface of the skin. Whiteheads may lead to more severe problems, and that’s why you should find treatments for them right away.

2 – Blackheads

Blackheads are usually painless and appear on top of your pore ducts. They consist of dead cells and oil that go up to the surface of the skin, clogging the pores. 

Aestheticians and dermatologists usually insist on having a deep cleansing session to remove them. 

3 – Small red, tender bumps

They are the world-famous papules, one of the most common indications that you have Acne. According to a recent study, papules are less than 5 mm in diameter.

They are warm, painful, and facilitate the appearance of inflammation in your facial skin.

4 – Large, stable, and painful lumps underneath the skin

They appear less frequently in teenagers suffering from Acne. They are called nodules and are 5-10 mm in diameter. They still give a sense of warmth, pain, and inflammation process. 

5 – Pimples with pus at their tips

Pimples are the best example of how Acne looks on your skin. The pus is there due to the decomposition of bacteria underneath your skin. It would help if you left pimples to deflate by using the right treatments that your dermatologist suggests.

6 – Cystic lesions

This is a severe complication of Acne in adults and adolescents. Cystic lesions are red but have no liquid inside. They are painful to touch and can mislead your dermatologist to the diagnosis of Acne rather than other inflammatory conditions.

You need to take care of them with the right treatments using natural products, or they could stay there forever and create a permanent scar.


As with any other medical condition, Acne has multiple roots:

1 – Hormones

Acne makes its appearance in early adolescence when the levels of the sexual hormones boost. Both testosterone and estrogens can activate the overproduction of oil and sebum to your facial skin pores.

2 – Medications

Even though Acne usually comes from the inside, some prescription drugs can also flare up its appearance. Halogens (halothane, chlorides, iodides), Cyclosporin, Antiepileptics (Carbamazepine, Phenytoin), Antituberculosis drugs (Isoniazid, Rifampicin), and Antidepressants (lithium, amoxapine) are some of the most commonly prescribed medications that can cause Acne.

3 – Diet

Some foods can cause Acne to your face skin. The worst foods to have if you want to retain your face’s natural beauty are refined grains and sugar, dairy products, fast food, foods rich in Omega-6 fats, Chocolate, Whey Protein Powder, and foods that you are oversensitive to.

4 – Stress and Anxiety

Stress is accountable for numerous adverse reactions in your body. It also negatively affects Acne problems. It does so through the route of corticosteroid hormones like adrenalin

The production of adrenalin at higher than normal levels due to stress can cause a pimple to appear on your face. The more stressed you are, the more pimples you are going to have.

Risk Factors

Although Acne is a common condition for dermatologist treatment, there still are some risk factors to facilitate its appearance on your face skin.

1 – Age

Being a teenager is good, but it can bring Acne pimples to your face and make you lose your natural beauty. Studies show that teenagers between their 13th and 17th years are more vulnerable to Acne’s appearance than any other age group.

2 – Family History

If your father had Acne, you are more likely to have Acne when you become an adolescent. That is an observation that brings scientific evidence and shows the significant role of genes in pimple breakout and inflammation.

3 – Pressure and Friction on your skin

As mentioned before, Acne can be present in other parts of your body besides the face. Athletes that wear tight clothes with excessive friction can have pimples appear on them.

It is known as Acne Mechanica, a condition that can also obstruct the right cleansing of pores. The back, shoulders, and buttocks are the most frequent skin places to have pimples development. 

Lately, the side of your face is also vulnerable to develop Acne Mechanica. That happens because of the constant rubbing of your smartphone against your skin, carrying millions of bacteria to your pores. The inflammation and pimple creation can get you directly to your dermatologist to get examined and take proper treatment. 

4 – Greasy or Oily Substances

People who work in restaurant kitchens risk developing Acne on their faces. That happens because of the grease and oily substances that are free into the air. 

These small greasy molecules can block the pores and create a focus inflammation in the area. Oil sticking on your skin can also promote redness and spot breakout. 

For that reason, every dermatologist insists on following a thoroughly clean skin procedure if you get in constant touch with greasy products.

5 – Hormonal Changes

It is not only sex hormones that can trigger the Acne inflammations breakout. People who pass through hormonal changes from their pituitary and thyroid glands may also be susceptible to pimples.

Hormonal imbalance can increase sebum production and further block the pores. If there is a bacteria overactivity in the spot redness, swelling and inflammation will occur to close the circle of the Acne existence.

Diagnosis of Acne

Today dermatologists have many ways to diagnose Acne. As soon as the patients appear in front of them, these are the steps to follow to make sure they get the right treatment for Acne.

1 – Medical History

Every dermatologist needs to record a precise medical history for his patients. That history would be the one to help him diagnose the Acne condition, apart from the visible signs of it (pimples, cysts, and red spots).

The best history would require to mention all the previous skin conditions of the patient. Any skincare treatment underwent in the past should also add to the patient’s record.

2 – Physical Examination

Nothing is better than a physical examination. It consists of placing people under a lens with LED lights and examining the face. Seeing the pores from close enough can give your dermatologist a thorough view of your Acne problem.

The presence of inflammation, blocked pores, oil, and greasy products, even scars, can give you a diagnosis of Acne by your dermatologist. 

3 – Differential Diagnosis

Sometimes it is hard to know whether it is Acne or another inflammation of the skin. Only an experienced dermatologist can say the difference between Acne, Rosacea, Hidradenitis, and Dermatitis that all have redness and pimples as common signs.

However, the right differential diagnosis of Acne is the most crucial step in giving the proper treatment. That is why most people insist on taking multiple medical opinions for their Acne situation.

How to Get Rid of Acne

Regardless if you are a teenager or an adult, suffering from Acne requires specific treatment options. Here you can find the most popular of them:

Medicine Treatments

Modern medicine has managed to develop many drugs to deal with Acne and its symptoms.

1 – Antibiotics

When bacteria have multiplied in your pores, there is a strong need for antibiotics to deal with Acne. Tetracycline, as well as Doxycycline and Minocycline per os or intracutaneous, are the best options for Acne treatment.

Receiving antibiotics is the first step to fight against Acne, either you are a teenager or an adult. Your dermatologist is responsible for deciding if you need to take them. 

Depending on the severity of your Acne, you can take a more sophisticated type of antibiotic. 

2 – Isotretinoin

It has been a miraculous medicine for all types of Acne. Isotretinoin has been the very first drug to be approved by the FDA in 1982. According to a recent study, Isotretinoin comes in capsules that can be consumed daily and it has almost zero side effects.

It can slow down the secretion of sebum and oil from the pores. You will see a reduction in the red spots on your skin after only a few days of treatment with Isotretinoin, Additionally, this drug can fix the acid-base balance of your skin, reducing the accumulation of bacteria. 

Today, some creams and ointments contain Isotretinoin, for people with minor Acne problems, or the inability to consume medicine. 

3 – Anti-androgen agents

These drugs block the action of sex hormones, mainly testosterone. People who have a severe Acne problem can receive treatment with Spironolactone or Cyproterone.

These are the antiandrogen agents that show the least side effects in men and women suffering from Acne. They usually come in the form of pills or capsules and act fast to restore the hormonal balance and remove pimples and any kind of spot.

4 – Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives have proved to be an efficient treatment for Acne. They work by blocking sex hormones, especially estrogens and progesterone, in females suffering from mild to severe Acne.

Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Estrostep, and YAZ are the three oral contraceptives approved by the FDA for acne treatment. They come in daily pills formulation and have no severe side effects.

These drugs reduce the pimples and clean your pores in a matter of days upon initial administration.

Home Remedies

As with any other health condition, some home remedies will help to treat Acne, here are our favorite remedies:

1 – Moisturize with Aloe Vera

To help your face get rid of any acne spots and marks, you need to make sure your skin is being hydrated.  Aloe Vera extract has all the vitamins and enough water to reach the deeper layers of your skin.

Tip: apply this daily before you go to sleep and let it work through the night. Aloe Vera helps not only to hydrate your skin but also, to reduce inflammation and reduce scars. 

2 – Make a Honey and Cinnamon Mask

Mix the ingredients in the microwave for no more than 30 seconds. Then, apply the mix on your face as soon as it reaches room temperature. 

Honey should help you with skin conditions, it can treat ulcers and burns on the skin. Cinnamon is a potent antibacterial agent. Both ingredients help your skin pH to stabilize and remove all the existing bacteria.

3 – Take Fish Oil Supplements

Another great treat for your skin would be to consume Fish Oil supplements, rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. The Omega 3 fatty acid is one of the best products to soothe inflammation and regulate the overproduction of sebum and bacteria on your skin.

Not to mention that fish oil can also reduce the production of acne-causing hormones like testosterone and androgen

4 – Apply Green Tea to Your Skin

Green Tea extract is also efficient in dealing with acne and it works on every type of skin. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is one of green tea’s active ingredients, this can clean your pores and reduce the production of sebum.

You can use green tea as a face mask and rely on its ability to resist the creation of pimples while also reducing marks and scars on the skin.

5 – Try some Zinc Supplements

Creams and ointments containing zinc have been popular lately too. This is also an important ingredient to reduce the inflammation process on your skin. It can work better with any salicylic, peroxide, or benzoyl treatment. 

Taking zinc supplements may also help you improve your skin texture and prevent acne breakouts.

6 – Apply Apple Cider Vinegar

It is well known that a lot of the inflammation processes on your skin and bacteria presence get suppressed when you use Apple Cider Vinegar to wash your face. You can mix apple cider vinegar and water, then apply it to your face and rinse. 

Using this as part of your daily skincare routine could help reduce scars significantly.  It is crucial to know that Apple Cider Vinegar may reduce the acidity on your face and help with pimple removal.

Learn more about ACV Benefits here

Therapies for Acne

1 – Laser and Photodynamic Therapy

Many people have found a reliable solution with IPL (Intense Pulse Light) Laser for their Acne cysts. The treatment is a combination of laser pulse with a vacuum and removes dead skin cells, sebum, and oil from the facial pores.

On the other hand, your dermatologist may insist on Photodynamic Therapy that consists of a photosensitizer, a light source, and oxygen. People who receive this kind of treatment can reduce their pimples and red spots after a few sessions.

2 – Chemical Peelings

Another easy way to get rid of scars related to Acne is chemical peeling. Under the supervision of a dermatologist, you have your face covered with a mixture of Salicylic acid, Benzoyl Acid, and Peroxide.

These products can exfoliate the upper layer of the skin. They also stimulate your inner cells to create more collagen and restructure.

That is why Chemical Peelings are the best way to remove spots and scars from Acne.

The only limitation is that you shouldn’t have sun exposure on your face the next few days after the peeling application. 

3 – Manual extraction of whiteheads and blackheads

Removing blackheads and whiteheads is one of the most crucial steps to get rid of Acne. You will need to wash and moisturize your face every day and never use your nails to extract them.

Oil and sebum can easily be removed from your skin when you managed to open the pores using a clean and accurate skincare routine.

Some people prefer to apply an over-the-counter retinoid (like tretinoin cream) to ensure there are no bacteria involved and facilitate this procedure.

4 – Steroid Injection

It is one of the acute Acne treatments offered by your dermatologist. Steroid injections include the administration of a cortisone intralesional injection

The injection site is usually a cyst laying underneath the skin surface and not responding to Isotretinoin or any other treatment. Injecting cortisone can have dramatic results in just 24 hours upon the session.

Make sure you follow your doctor’s advice since when you take cortisone, some foods and drinks should be absent from your daily diet.

How to Prevent?

Today there are many ways to prevent acne breakouts. Here is some useful advice:

1 – Make the right choices when applying makeup

Makeup can clog the pores in your skin if you don’t choose the right products. Choose non-comedogenic and oil-free products. This is key for people who suffer from Acne. When sebum can’t reach the skin surface, they create cysts and pimples. Try using water-based makeup and cleanse your skin every morning and before you go to sleep. 

2 – Drink more water

Our body consists of 90% water. When your skin is dehydrated, acne could potentially get worse. Water can dissolve the inner sebum that blocks your pores.

Not to mention, water can prevent the bacteria from increasing and easing the inflammation. All these can help you improve your acne issues and restore your natural beauty.

3 – Avoid touching your face

Millions of bacteria and other infectious particles are on your hands. Every time you touch your face, there is an increased risk of contaminating your pores.

Acne can get reinforced by such incidents. You need to wash your hands before touching your face. Using a good cleanser is always the best prevention for pimple development.

4 – Stay away from sun exposure

According to a recently published article, sun exposure can increase redness and soreness caused by acne. You should always wear a hat and try to keep your face from the direct sun.

Sun exposure could always induce pimple and cyst creation. It positively can react with Isotretinoin and other acid-based treatments like chemical peelings.

Use a sunblock cream with high SPF and zinc.

5 – Make your skincare routine a habit

Nothing is more important than having a good skincare routine. People who manage to clean their face at least twice a day can reduce their chances of expanding inflammation to other parts of their face.

Use clear water, neutral pH soap, and a clean towel to wipe your face. You can halt acne’s expansion merely by keeping your face clean all the time. Remember to use an oil-free moisturizer. 

Consequences of Acne

As with any type of skin inflammation and disease, Acne can have severe mental and physical repercussions to people having it:

1 – General infection

One of the most severe consequences of Ance is the possibility of developing an infection. Especially in teenagers who tend to pop their pimples, bleeding can result in further bacterial infection.

In some cases, people who developed a systematic infection from the bacteria on the acne spot facial area, needed intravenous antibiotics to recover fully. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist if you think you have a general infection. 

2 – Permanent facial scars or spots

Even though acne treatments can help improve skin texture and remove red spots, scars, they may be hard to be removed fully, despite the therapies you may have undergone. This is why it is key that you understand more about your skin, talk to an expert/professional on the skin, and treat your skin as soon as you can. 


What is the difference between acne and pimples?

Acne is a disease that includes the creation of pimples, blackheads, cysts, and red spots. However, it is not an identical condition to pimples since the latter can appear by themselves.

Under no circumstances, acne and pimples combine all the time. That is why your dermatologist has to physically examine you to exclude other medical conditions that facilitate the pimples’ appearance.

What causes Acne?

Usually, the hormonal imbalance is the root of Acne’s appearance in teenagers. However, it seems like pollution, dehydration, lack of proper facial hygiene, genes, and oily type of skin can be some of the leading factors for Acne.

Lately, the correlation of Acne with junk food and certain drugs used to treat other conditions has shown significant results.

What age does Acne stop?

Teenagers generally stop having acne spots at the age of 18. However, there are cases where acne can persist until the age of 21 or even more

Does drinking water help Acne?

Water offers the necessary background for your body to fight against Acne. It can help your skin produce more collagen and detoxify the pores. 

How do you fight Acne?

You can fight Acne by living a healthy life and having a good skincare routine like the Korean skincare routine day and night. Using a clean towel, clean beauty tools. Then you can also use neutral pH soaps and avoid putting too many products when is not necessary. 

Finally, if the acne issues persist, you can follow the laser treatments or the standard isotretinoin therapy that works in 99% of acne cases.

How can I clear up Acne Fast?

The general rule would be to have less stress, eat, and sleep well, drink lots of water, have a daily skincare routine.

If you already have pimples try not to pop them and take the advice of a dermatologist if the problem persists.


Acne has been the number one of teenagers’ health problems affecting their appearance and mental health. Today’s treatments and products make it easier than ever to get rid of acne spots and pimples. If you liked this article, please feel free to share it with your friends.

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