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What is Acne?


What is acne?

Zits. Blemishes. Spots. Pimples. Whatever you call it, acne is a skin condition universally experienced — and disliked — by all. Some 40-50 million Americans, both male and female, deal with acne, and age does not seem to be a factor as acne can even occur at birth. The issue is compounded for teens, who often experience the most intense bouts of acne, although it can linger well into adulthood. While acne is not dangerous or a serious skin problem, it can affect self-esteem when you feel that you aren’t putting your best face forward.

Here’s what you should know about this troublesome-but-treatable condition:

Technical terms: Acne vulgaris is the term for a variety of skin blemishes that stem from the bacteria propionibacterium acnes, as well as a combination of oil and dead skin cells inside the skin’s pores.

  • What’s included: The umbrella term of acne includes whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, nodules, papules and cysts.
  • Where it pops up: Acne is commonly found on the face but it can often appear on the back, chest, buttocks and upper arms.
  • Inflammation: All acne lesions cause inflammation within the skin, even blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Blackheads vs. whiteheads: The difference between a blackhead and whitehead is that whiteheads are blocked pores that are not open on the surface, whereas blackheads are open and the oxygen causes the contents of the blocked pore to darken and oxidize.
  • Papules: Papules reside underneath the skin and feel hard to the touch.
  • Pustules: Pustules are filled with pus as their name suggests and are the classic connotation for the word “pimple.”

Learn more about acne treatment and prevention with HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®.


©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2016