What is acne?

Acne is a common skin condition. Most people will have acne at some point in their lives. While we often think of acne during the teenage years, many adults also experience it.

Acne occurs when pores in the skin become blocked. Typically, pores become blocked by the overproduction of oil or sebum from the sebaceous glands. Blocked pores cause whiteheads or blackheads to form. If the blocked pore becomes inflamed, pimples, deeper nodules, and cysts can also form.

Acne ranges from mild (only a few pimples) to severe (painful nodules and cysts). In cases of moderate to severe acne, scarring can occur. It is important to treat acne early to prevent potential scarring.

What causes acne?

  • Hormonal changes cause the body to produce more sebum, oil, and fatty acids in the skin’s hair follicles. Common causes of hormonal fluctuations include puberty, use of hormonal birth control, anabolic steroid use, or stress.  
  • Bacteria can grow in blocked hair follicles, causing inflammation. Inflamed glands can form pustules, nodules, and cysts.
  • Irritation, such as picking at existing acne or wearing headgear, hats, or helmets, can irritate the skin, which causes more inflammation and can worsen acne.
  • Environmental factors such as high humidity levels or air pollution can contribute to acne.
  • Products: Glycemic/oily lotions or certain hair products, such as pomades or waxes, can block pores and cause acne.

What are the treatment options for acne?

Below are some of the common treatment options for acne. Your doctor may suggest combining these treatments to help achieve the best outcome.

Before and after:


What can you expect?

You will consult with our expert dermatologists. The physician will listen to you, perform a thorough evaluation, and provide you with an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs and concerns.

Choose St. Louis Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery

Our Dermatologists can help you explore options to rejuvenate or refine your appearance, helping you look and feel your best. We can help you improve your complexion and confidence and achieve younger, healthier-looking skin!

We deliver remarkable patient experiences through quality, compassion, and innovation. We are a team that cares deeply about our neighbors and is a positive resource to the community.


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