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Acne-Prone Skin: Definition, Causes, and Prevention – Earthlydiets

Acne-Prone Skin: Definition, Causes, and Prevention
Acne-Prone Skin: Definition, Causes, and Prevention

Acne-prone skin describes skin that is more prone to blemishes and outbreaks. Acne Vulgaris generally called acne usually begins during puberty, is accompanied by hormonal changes, and may be present into later adulthood, particularly in women. Acne is a non-contagious skin condition delineated by spots or pimples, It is majorly caused by infected and inflamed sebaceous skin glands especially on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arm. The sebaceous glands are activated during puberty although this occurs at any age, the glands produce oils stimulated by hormones produced in the adrenal glands causing clogged pores leading to acne. About 70% – 90% of young adults experience this skin condition and are likely to use acne medication to relieve symptoms. Studies have suggested there is an increased percentage of late-onset or persistent acne (acne tarda).

Acne severity ranges from

1. Mild acne (Acne Comedonica)

2. Moderate acne (Acne Papulopustulosa)

3. Severe acne (Acne Conglobata)

Acne categories

  1. Noninflammatory Acne
  2. Inflammatory Acne

Noninflammatory Acne: This refers to clogged sebaceous glands (pores) appearing as closed or open comedones. While open comedones (blackheads) have a dark and flat appearance against the skin, closed comedones(white heads) can appear as small, colored bumps on the skin

Inflammatory Acne: These are raised bumps on the skin and may range from papules, and pustules to severe cysts or nodules. They are more robust and deeply colored in appearance. They are larger than the usual pimple, have a deep underskin feeling, and are more painful types of acne.

Acne Vulgaris may be present as pus-filled bumps, whiteheads, pimples, blackheads, cysts, and nodules as various types of acne. There are other skin blemishes apart from acne. A skin `blemish` is often referred to as a temporary skin condition.

Common terms associated with skin blemishes

  • Blackhead (Open comedones): When oxygen reacts with the sebum of blocked sebaceous glands, it results in small flat dark blemishes. Blackheads are not caused by dirt.
  • Pimple: This is a widely used term for skin blemishes. They are painful and inflamed(raised), colored blemishes that fills with pus.
  • Whitehead  (Closed comedones): This also occurs as a result of blocked sebaceous glands and has a milky white cover, is round and raised in appearance. It is a type of pimple.
  • Pustule: An increase in the severity and size of closed comedones. It is inflamed and contains pus.
  • Cysts:  A soft deeply lodged acne lesion filled with pus. It is caused by the bursting of the follicular walls at the later stages of inflammation.
  • Papule: An inflamed solid skin bumps without a pus
  • Nodule: A hard deeply lodged acne lesion occurring in the area of damaged tissues. Usually on the back and shoulders.

Acne-prone skincare is delicate and will be covered in this article- definition, causes, prevention, and how best to alleviate the symptoms of acne. Acne-prone skin is susceptible to developing pimples and comedones. This type of skin is often shiny and oily because its sebaceous glands produce more sebum than other skin types.

Causes of Acne

The causes of acne have more myths than truth surrounding it. A lot of hearsays lacking medical backing- acne is solely caused by less hygienic practices is one such myth. Dermatologists have however through years of study and research elicited some key factors that make some people more prone to acne. Acne is primarily caused by the clogging of skin pores either by excess oil, dead skin cells, bacteria, or dirt.

 Here are a few reasons for acne breakouts

  • Hormones:

Hormonal changes, especially during puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause, cause the overproduction of oil by skin glands, clogging the skin pores thereby trapping in sebum which has the primary function of lubricating the skin thereby causing acne. The development of sebaceous glands and sebum production is controlled by hormones. Sebum is produced in these sebaceous glands and an overproduction of sebum is a leading symptom of acne-prone skin. In prevalent development stages like puberty, there is an increase in the activities of hormones like testosterone that causes skin glands to work overtime. This is one of the most prevalent causes of acne in adolescence. However, acne may affect men and women differently at different life stages.

  • Diet:

Studies have indicated there’s a relationship between diet and acne. Foods with a very high glycemic index, oily foods, and lots of dairy products may exacerbate acne.

  • Medication:

Certain medications containing iodides or bromides, and other medicines like corticosteroids, lithium, androgenic steroids, anticonvulsants, DHEA, and barbiturates, can make the skin acne-prone, cause acne-like eruptions and acne medications, using the wrong skincare or makeup products, and other lifestyle choices are also facts that cause acne-prone skin.

Wrong skincare routine

Improper skincare like the use of harsh, soap-based cleansers, very hot water, and using wrong cleansers disrupts the natural balance of the skin and may magnify symptoms.  Using certain skin products and makeup can clog the skin pores causing acne.

Lastly, the accumulation of dirt, oils, dead skin, and debris encourages activities of bacteria and clogging of the pores. The most common cause of the accumulation on the skin is the use of facemasks for a long period of time leading to loss of hydration, inflammation, and irritation due to the friction between skin layers and the mask. Face masks also trap sweat, oil, and humidity on the skin, leading to acne or rosacea flares.

  • Genetics

Genes play a major role in our overall well-being. Skin types are determined by inherited genes. Oily skins are more reactive and prone to acne, inflammation, and blemishes than other skin types.

  • Stress

Stress may trigger hormones that stimulate sebum production and exacerbate acne and other skin blemishes

  • Smoking

An extensive review of research focused on the relationship between smoking and acne confirms that indeed, smoking exacerbates acne. This is caused by the effect of oxidative stress on the skin from smoking, altering sebum composition.

  • Biological process

Inflammation on the skin triggered by any of the above causes inadvertently leads to acne. The way the body process a the cathelicidin protein, activities of bacteria like (P.acnes, a usually harmless bacteria, and H.pylori, a bacteria that causes intestinal infections), secretion of excess sebum, hyperkeratosis (abnormal thickening of skin layers and inadequate desquamation of dead cells) blocks skin pores resulting in acne

  • A mite is known as Demodex

Prevention of Acne

While there’s a range of available treatments and medications for acne, ‘prevention is better than cure’. Timely and correct skincare routines can prevent a deterioration in skin condition and tissue damage, like scarring and hyperpigmentation. Do not be in a haste to use any product if it hasn’t been recommended by our dermatologist if you are already battling acne. Skin sensitivity differs therefore it is important to seek medical counsel.

Simple prevention routines, lifestyle changes, and careful cleansing procedures can help reduce the symptoms in acne-prone skins.

Effective prevention includes:

  1. Wash your face at least twice a day and after sweating
  2. Don’t pick or pop bumps while it is very tempting, doing so can lead to scarring and black spots
  3. Be gentle, do not use harsh scrubs or exfoliants remember acne is not a dirt problem.
  4. Regularly wash things that come in contact with your skin such as beddings, and makeup brushes, and carefully clean your phone screens as they can harbor debris that can clog your pores.
  5. Use a safe extraction method with a qualified dermatologist
  6. Make it a habit to check the ingredients of your hair products. Wash your hair regularly, keep hair away from your face when sleeping, and use safe hair products.
  7. Use non-comedogenic products
  8. Stay hydrated
  9. Beware of diet and supplement claims
  10. While buying skin care products, doctors recommend looking out for cleansers and acne treatments that contain one of four active ingredients Benzoyl peroxide, Salicylic acid, Adapalene, or  Retinol.
  11. Wear oil-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Choose sunscreen product with about 50 SPF
  12. Moisturize your skin regularly

Recommended for acne-prone skin.


  1. Use a Cleanser: Using a cleanser helps to reduce the accumulation of sweat, oil, dirt, and bacteria on the skin.
  2. Use a toner to get rid of excess oil that may contribute to breakouts.
  3. Use a moisturizer regularly. It is recommended for dry or oily, to keep the skin hydrated.
  4. Apply sunscreen
  5. If you are using makeup, choose noncomedogenic products. Makeup may also help to cover pimples and residual redness.


  1. Use appropriate makeup removers to ensure the pores are unclogged.
  2. Use a cleanser to remove the day’s sweat, debris, and grime that would be sitting on the surface of the skin. Remove them before climbing your bed.
  3. Spot treatment: After cleansing, apply a spot treatment to allow the ingredients to work their way deep into the skin. These spot treatments also work to prevent new breakouts, treat existing pimples, and target scarring.

As needed

  • Exfoliants
  • Lubricating Face mask.


While acne is more prevalent in adolescence it is important to know that acne can also occur in later stages of adulthood and in different development stages of both men and women. Acne is not sorely a dirt problem factors like homes, genes, lifestyle, diet, and even stress.

Patience is key while treating acne do not expect results in a very short period of time. It is recommended that you visit a dermatologist for personalized advice, your dermatologist will give you the best recommendations and products for your acne type.

We have coerced acne-prone skin care- definition, causes, and prevention, duly go through the article and follow instructions for best results.

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