Understanding Acne

Acne – it's a word that holds a myriad of emotions for many people. For some, it's a passing phase of adolescence, while for others, it's an ongoing battle well into adulthood. But regardless
of age or severity, acne is more than just a skin condition; it can significantly impact self-esteem, confidence, and overall well-being. While in the midst of my own struggle with acne starting in
my teen years, I found myself getting interested in dermatology, which has led me into this profession of being a dermatology nurse practitioner. In this blog, we'll delve into the intricacies
of acne, exploring its causes, treatment options, and the importance of self-care in managing this condition.

understanding acne

The Causes of Acne

Acne develops when pores become clogged. These clogged pores can manifest as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, or cysts, depending on the severity and type of acne. Several factors contribute to the development of acne:

Several factors contribute to the development of acne:

● Excess Oil Production: When the sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much oil (sebum), it can clog pores and lead to acne.
● Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations, especially during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, can increase sebum production, leading to acne.
● Bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a type of bacteria that lives on the skin and can multiply rapidly in clogged pores, leading to inflammation and acne breakouts.
● Dead Skin Cells: Excess dead skin cells can accumulate and mix with oil, clogging pores and causing acne.
● Inflammation: Inflammation plays a significant role in the development of acne. When the hair follicles become clogged, it can trigger an immune response, leading to redness, swelling, and pus formation.
● Genetics: A family history of acne can increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
● Certain Medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids, androgens, and lithium, can contribute to acne development.
● Diet: Although the link between diet and acne is not fully understood, some studies suggest that certain foods, such as dairy products and high-glycemic-index foods, may exacerbate acne in some individuals.
● Stress: While stress alone doesn't cause acne, it can exacerbate existing acne by triggering hormonal changes that increase sebum production.
● Environmental Factors: Exposure to pollutants and certain environmental factors, such as high humidity and heavy sweating, can worsen acne.

Treatment of Acne

The good news is that acne is a treatable condition, and there are numerous options available to help manage and control symptoms. Here are some common treatment approaches:

● Topical Treatments: Over-the-counter and prescription creams, gels, and lotions containing ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, retinoids, and antibiotics can help unclog pores, reduce inflammation, and kill acne-causing bacteria.
● Oral Medications: In cases of moderate to severe acne, oral medications such as antibiotics, oral contraceptives (for females), and isotretinoin (Accutane) may be prescribed by a dermatologist to target acne from within.
● Procedures: Dermatological procedures like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser therapy, and corticosteroid injections can be effective in treating stubborn acne lesions and reducing scarring.
● Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting a skincare routine tailored to your skin type, maintaining a healthy diet, managing stress through relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga, and avoiding pore-clogging cosmetics can all contribute to acne management.

The Importance of Self Care

While seeking professional treatment is essential for managing acne, self-care practices play a crucial role in complementing medical interventions and maintaining overall skin health. Here
are some self-care tips for acne-prone skin:

● Gentle Cleansing: Wash your face twice daily with a gentle, non-comedogenic cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and impurities without stripping the skin's natural moisture barrier.
● Moisturize: Even oily skin needs hydration. Use an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and prevent excessive dryness, which can exacerbate acne.
● Sun Protection: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, especially if using acne medications that can increase sun sensitivity.
● Hands Off: Avoid touching, picking, or squeezing acne lesions, as this can worsen inflammation, spread bacteria, and increase the risk of scarring.
● Healthy Habits: Get an adequate amount of sleep, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and minimize stressors in your life to promote overall well-being, which can positively impact skin health.

If you're struggling with acne, know that you're not alone, and help is available. Don't hesitate to reach out to a dermatologist who can provide personalized guidance and treatment options
tailored to your needs. In the journey to clear, healthy skin, patience, consistency, and self-love are your greatest allies. With the right combination of treatment, self-care, and a positive mindset, you can conquer acne and let your inner radiance shine through.


- Acne Resource Center. American Academy of Dermatology Association. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne
- Acne. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. https://www.aocd.org/page/Acne?&hhsearchterms=%22acne%22
- Acne Vulgaris. Amita H. Sutaria; Sadia Masood; Haitham M. Saleh; Joel Schlessinger. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459173/#:~:text=Acne%20vulgaris%20is%20a%20com
- Acne: What you need to know. Marcelo Campos. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acne-what-you-need-to-know-2019010315717

dermatology clinic near me

Bealie Dib, APRN

About the Author

Bealie Grace Dib, APRN, graduated from AdventHealth University with an Associate of Science in Nursing in 2013. During her early nursing career, she held a leadership role as a Charge Nurse and trained nurses in the Transplant Surgical Progressive Care Unit. Cardinal Health presented Bealie the RNspire Honor for her ability to inspire and lead those around her. She then ventured into travel nursing in California while furthering her education through a combined BSN and MSN-FNP graduate nurse practitioner education program at Graceland University and graduated in 2019 with a Master of Science in Nursing. Bealie pursued her dream career in dermatology, where she continues to build her skills and knowledge in Medical, Surgical, and Cosmetic Dermatology. She is an active member of the National Academy of Dermatology Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and the Dermatology Nurses’ Association.


The information provided on this site is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.  OnSpot Dermatology is not providing personalized medical assessments or recommendations for individual cases in this post. The content presented here is based on general knowledge and should not be considered a substitute for a consultation with a qualified healthcare professional.  The use of information provided is solely at your own risk. OnSpot Dermatology and the author make no representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, or usefulness of the information presented.  By reading this post, you agree to the above disclaimer and understand that any action you take based on the information provided is at your own discretion.  If you have specific questions or concerns about your skin or any medical condition, please consult a healthcare professional for a personalized assessment and recommendations.