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Acne Pimples
Acne pimples are a common disorder developed in teenagers and at times in adults due to the inflammation of skin, as superficial skin eruption caused by the blockage of skin pores. Usually acne appears on the face but can extend to neck, chest and back also. Not all acne is the same. Simplistically, acne can be divided into red bumps and blackheads/whiteheads. This division is important because each type is treated differently. Blackheads and whiteheads, known as comedones, can be more numerous on the face and shoulders than red bumps filled with pus. Good consistent skin hygiene can help improve this condition. Therefore, knowing more about what causes comedones and how to treat them is a step towards clearer skin.

All acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, which is made up of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and a hair. These units are found everywhere on the body except the palms, soles, top of the feet, and the lower lip. The number of pilosebaceous units is greatest on the face, upper neck, and chest. Sebaceous glands produce a substance called sebum, which is responsible for keeping the skin and hair moisturized. During adolescence sebum production increases due to hormones. After about age 20, sebum production begins to decrease.

The oily substance produced by the sebaceous gland combines with cells being sloughed off within the hair follicle and "fills up" the hair follicle. When the follicle is "full", the sebum spreads over the skin surface giving the skin an oily appearance. When this process works correctly, the skin is moisturized and remains healthy.

Problems arise when the sebum is trapped in the hair follicle. For reasons that are still unclear, some hair follicles become obstructed. The sebum is produced but gets trapped on the way out. A certain bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes multiplies in this trapped sebum and causes a tiny infection. This leads to inflammatory acne, or red bumps and pustules. In some follicles the bacteria does not cause an infection, but rather changes the lining of the hair follicle and forms plugs called comedones.