Acne: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Reviewed by Dr. Hasan Feroz, M.D,

Most of the teens and growing adolescents faces the issue of acne vulgaris which cause swelling, pain and bumps on the face. This is called acne vulgaris. This occurs when dead skin cells and oil from the skin clog the hair follicles.

It affects skins where a high amount of oil glands found like the face, upper chest and back. The appearance of the acne looks bad resulting in low esteem, lack of confidence and depression among the affected peoples.

Photo by cottonbro on


Acne is caused by the blockage of hair follicles by dead skin cells and oil. The symptoms of acne are as follows:-

Open plugged pores known as blackhead

Closed plugged pores known as whiteheads

Papules called red bumps

Pastules contains pus

Cystic Lesions found under the skins


The causes of acne are many like hormonal, diet, stress, genes and infections. There may be a chance of any one of them but in most the teens it seems to be due to hormonal changes which cause excess production of androgen hormone causes sebum oil production in the body.

Women who have been suffering from PCOS and PCOD may also face the problem of acne where a high amount of androgen is secreted in the body.

In most of the studies, it is found that the use of high glycemic foods and oily foods causes acne.


The diagnosis of the acne is done by a proper screening of the patient. By simply looking at the affected area it is clear that what kind of acne it is. Your doctor may also recommend some blood test to rule out any blood disorder which may cause acne.


There are many treatment options available to treat the acne like with the help of antibiotics, hormonal treatment, anti-androgenic medications, keratolytic soaps, retinoids and salicylic acid.

The first line treatment of acne vulgaris is to treat with over the counter medications like Benzoyl peroxide which is used to treat very mild to moderate acne. It also reduces inflammation and pain. It is easily available in gel form and doesn’t cause bacteria resistance like other antibiotics.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics like doxycycline or minocycline to treat acne as it works very fast. you may also recommend clindamycin. It is available in both gel as well as tablet form. both are effective against acne vulgaris.

Use of Eryhtromycin, Metronidazole, nadifloxin may also be used as safe antibiotic.

Use of isotretinion is very effective against the acne for cystic and nodule acne.

For females birth control pills and water pills may be effective for the treatment of acne.

Prevention from Acne Vulgaris

Protect yourself from direct sunlight which causes sunburn and may cause formation of the scar.

Avoid touching, piercing the acne as it cause infection and scarring. Most of people thinks that by piercing it will be automatically healed but it is totally false.

Avoid oily and fatty foods that may increases the chance of acne to flare up. Some people think that washing your face with face wash or soaps will decrease the chance of occurring acne but it is totally baseless and medically not proved.

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