Acne | Pimples | Causes & Treatment

acne, pimple, zitsAcne is a skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red growths (papules, pustules, and cysts) to form. These growths are commonly called pimples or “zits.”


Acne occurs when tiny holes on the surface of the skin, called pores, become clogged. Each pore is an opening to a follicle, which contains a hair and an oil gland. These oil glands help lubricate the skin and help remove old skin cells. When glands produce too much oil, the pores can become blocked. Dirt, debris, bacteria, and inflammatory cells build up. The blockage is called a plug or comedone. The top of the plug may be white (whitehead) or dark (blackhead). If the plug breaks open, the material inside causes swelling and red bumps to form. If the inflammation is deep in your skin, the pimples may enlarge to form firm, painful cysts.

Acne is most common in teenagers, but it can happen at any age, even in an infant. Three out of four teenagers have some acne. Hormonal changes probably cause increased oil in the skin. However, people in their 30s and 40s may also have acne.

Acne tends to run in families and can be triggered by:

  • Hormonal changes related to menstrual periods, pregnancy, birth control pills, or stress
  • Greasy or oily cosmetic and hair products
  • Certain drugs
  • High levels of humidity and sweating

Despite the popular belief that chocolate, nuts, and greasy foods cause acne, research does not confirm this idea. Diets high in refined sugars may be related to acne.


Acne commonly appears on the face and shoulders, but it may also occur on the trunk, arms, legs, and buttocks.

  • Blackheads
  • Crusting of skin bumps
  • Cysts
  • Papules (small red bumps)
  • Pustules
  • Redness around the skin eruptions
  • Scarring of the skin
  • Whiteheads


Aesthetic Procedures

  • Laser / Light therapies such as Broadband Lightor Radiofrequency treatment – INTRAcel
  • For scars reduction, try Fractional CO2 laser or MicroLaser Peel
  • chemical skin peeling

Prescription Medicines

If pimples are still a problem, doctor can prescribe stronger medications and discuss other options with you.

Antibiotics may help some people with acne

  • Oral antibiotics
  • Topical antibiotics (applied to the skin)

Creams or gels applied to the skin may be prescribed

For women whose acne is caused or made worse by hormones

  • Birth control pills may help in some cases


People who have cystic acne and scarring may try Accutane under strict supervision because of its side effects.


Steps you can take to help your acne:

  • Clean your skin gently with a mild, nondrying soap. Remove all dirt or make-up. Wash once or twice a day, including after exercising. However, avoid scrubbing or repeated skin washing.
  • Shampoo your hair daily, especially if it is oily. Comb or pull your hair back to keep the hair out of your face.
  • Try not to squeeze, scratch, pick, or rub the pimples. Although it might be tempting to do this, it can lead to skin infections and scarring.
  • Avoid wearing tight headbands, baseball caps, and other hats
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands or fingers.
  • Avoid greasy cosmetics or creams. Take off make-up at night. Look for water-based or “noncomedogenic” formulas. Noncomedogenic products have been tested and proven not to clog pores and cause acne.


Acne usually goes away after the teenage years, but it may last into middle age. The condition often responds well to treatment after 6 – 8 weeks, but it may flare up from time to time.

Scarring may occur if severe acne is not treated. Some people, especially teenagers, can become very depressed if acne is not treated.


koh weng guan

27/12/2016 at 12:41 am

hello, is 19 year old eligible to do the Laser / Light therapies such as Broadband Lightor Radiofrequency treatment – INTRAcel? price and how many session to attend

    Celevenus Marketing

    20/11/2017 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Weng Guan,
    Thank you for writing in your queries with Celevenus. The number of sessions for treatments varies for different skin type. We have followed up with more information on your concerns. We look forward to assist you. Do check your mailbox.

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