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Who gets acne and what causes it?


What is acne?

what is acne and who gets it palm harbor flAcne refers to a skin condition that develops when the hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil. It typically causes blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples, and often appears on the forehead, face, upper back, shoulders, and chest.

In case a person has a bad case of acne, they may feel isolated. However, in reality, acne is quite common. It is the most commonly occurring skin problem in the country. Nearly 40 to 50 million Americans have acne at any given time.

A majority of individuals who have acne are teens or young adults, but acne can develop at any age. Infants can develop acne. Men and women get acne. At times, women develop acne upon reaching middle age.

Dermatologists at the PH Dermatology Cancer and Laser Surgery Center provide safe and proven skin care treatments to patients in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Tampa, Spring Hill, Riverview, Florida, and surrounding communities.

What causes Acne?

Acne develops when a pore in our skin becomes blocked with dead skin cells. In general, dead skin cells rise to the pore’s surface, and the body sheds the cells.

When the body produces lots of sebum, oil that prevents our skin from drying out, the dead skin cells can stick together within the pore. Rather than rising to the surface, the cells become trapped within the pore.

At times, bacteria that live on our skin, p. acnes, also get inside the blocked pore. Once inside the pore, the bacteria start multiplying rapidly. The pore becomes swollen (red and inflamed) with loads of bacteria inside. An acne nodule or cyst appears if the inflammation extends deep into the skin.

Acne Factors

The four key dermatology factors that contribute to acne are:

  • Clogged pores
  • Bacteria build-up
  • Excess oil production in the skin
  • Dead skin cells

Acne typically develops on the neck, face, back, chest, and shoulders. These regions have the highest number of sebaceous glands that produce oil. Acne occurs when the hair follicle gets plugged with dead skin cells and oil.

Oil glands and hair follicles are connected. The skin and hair receive lubrication from the secretion of these oil glands.

Factors that Aggravate Acne


Increased production of androgen hormones occurs during puberty in both boys and girls. Because of this hormone, the sebaceous glands become enlarged, and there is increased manufacture of sebum.

Certain Types of Medicines

Some medications containing corticosteroids, androgens, or lithium can worsen acne.


Various research studies show that certain dietary factors, such as carbohydrate-rich foods and dairy products, may trigger acne. Chocolate has long been believed to make acne worse. According to a research study with 14 male participants, it was shown that eating chocolate was linked with an increase in acne.


Increased stress levels or emotional ups and downs may cause acne to become worse.

What does not Cause Acne?

Many people mistakenly believe that dirty skin, greasy or oily foods, or cosmetic lead to acne. But consuming greasy or oily food has little or no impact on acne. Dirt in the skin does not cause acne either.

PH Dermatology Cancer & Laser Surgery Center, led by board certified dermatologists, provides advanced dermatology treatments to patients in Palm Harbor, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Brandon, Riverview, Spring Hill, Florida and surrounding communities. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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