What Causes Acne?

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Acne is caused by variety of factors. We all have pores in our skin which are lined by skin cells called keratinocytes. In normal skin, those keratinocytes naturally slough out of the pore easily. However, in acne, the keratocytes become very sticky and they build up in the lining of the pore to form a pimple. This looks like a whitehead or blackhead. Many things can cause the lining of the pore to get sticky. Hormones are the biggest culprit. That’s why acne is common in teenagers during puberty and adult women around their cycle. As the lining of the pore becomes more sticky, oil and bacteria build-up inside of the pore. This is when you see the large red cysts under the skin. There are many different treatments for acne. Some work to unclog the pore like salicylic acid and retinoids. Others work to reduce bacteria like benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics. Antibiotics also help to reduce inflammation. If acne is not controlled with over-the-counter treatments, see a dermatologist who can prescribe prescription products to control this common condition.