Health Topics

Strike Out Acne

By DuPage Medical Group Dermatology

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. Acne most commonly appears on your face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. Acne lesions heal slowly and when one begins to resolve, others seem to crop up.

There are two main types of acne: non-inflammatory and inflammatory.

Non-inflammatory acne is called comedones. They are either whiteheads or blackheads.

A Whitehead is when the trapped sebum (oil) and bacteria stay below the skin surface. Whiteheads may show up as tiny white spots, or they may be so small that they are invisible to the naked eye.

A Blackhead occurs when the pore opens to the surface, and the sebum, which contains the skin pigment melanin oxidizes and turns a brown-black color. It’s not dirt and can’t be washed away.

Inflammatory acne is when the follicle wall ruptures. 

Papula is when there is a break in the follicular wall. White blood cells rush into the pore which becomes inflamed.

Pustule forms several days later when white blood cells make their way to the surface of the skin. This is what people refer to as a “zit” or a “pimple.”

A papule or pustule can completely collapse or explode, severely inflaming the surrounding skin, and may overflow neighboring follicles. These lesions are called cysts or nodules.

The good news is that there are effective treatments and products available.

Chemical peels are acids which are applied to the skin about once every two weeks. These acids chemically exfoliate the top layer of skin. This exfoliation signals the cells inside the skin to produce more rapidly which can help skin turnover and prevent pores from becoming clogged. 

HydraFacial treatment deeply cleanses the skin, removing dead skin cells and extracts impurities while simultaneously bathing the new skin with cleansing, hydrating and moisturizing serums.

Acleara Acne Clearing Treatment is powered by an advanced vacuumed and filtered broadband light technology. The vacuum cleans pores by extracting build-up of sebaceous material. Along with targeted heating of sebaceous glands, the broadband light destroys acne and reduces sebum production.

Ongoing treatments can get the skin completely clear and keep it that way for years. Using over the counter products that contain alpha hydroxyl acid, benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, salicylic acid, and sulfur can help maintain your treatments and keep skin clear.

For more information about the above treatment options, visit

Topics and Subtopics: Skin Health

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