Hamburger menü

Acne (pimples) occurrence, types, treatment, prevention

Dermatologist's photograph

Dr. Dózsa Anikó


Acne, medically known as acne vulgaris, is not just a skin problem limited to adolescence, as commonly believed, but it is also widespread among other age groups. It is a complex issue involving various factors contributing to acne-prone skin.


Acne develops when the openings of the sebaceous glands become blocked for any reason, leading to inflammation of the gland. They mainly appear on the body surface where sebaceous glands are abundant.

The function of these glands is influenced by several factors, with the production of male sex hormones being the most significant. Therefore, it is understandable why acne first appears during adolescence, as the balance of hormonal levels is not yet stable. Overall, the occurrence of acne depends on the levels of sex hormones and the strenght of the reaction of the hormone-sensitive cells.

Acne can only occur on body surfaces with hair follicles because the opening of the sebaceous gland becomes blocked next to the hair follicle. Around adolescence, nearly 90% of people experience increased sebum production in their skin, which can be attributed to hormonal changes. If acne persists beyond adolescence, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist in addition to pursuing cosmetic treatments to determine the underlying cause of the problem.

Ideally, sebum exits the skin through the openings of the glands, forming a thin layer on the surface. However, if the pores become blocked, a specific type of bacteria multiplies in the accumulated sebum. The body activates the immune system to destroy these bacteria. White blood cells arrive at the site and devour the bacteria. During this process, inflammatory substances are released, causing swelling, redness, and the visible appearance of acne.

Common Triggering Factors

  • Hormonal changes
  • Psychological factors, excessive stress
  • Incorrect nutrition
  • Digestive issues
  • Circulatory disorders


Every pimple is a small bump filled with pus in the center, known as a comedo. There are three types:

  • Papule - a simple pimple that heals within 4-10 days
  • Pustule - a bump that takes 2-3 weeks to heal
  • Cyst - a blister-like lesion that can be visible for several months

Acne can be classified into mild, moderate, and severe based on its severity.

Due to the potential formation of scars, it is advisable to seek the opinion of a cosmetologist or dermatologist in addition to home remedies.

Prevention or Promotion of Less Frequent and Milder Occurrence

It is important to optimize your lifestyle as part of the treatment approach, which includes maintaining a healthy diet. Consuming fiber-rich foods is recommended. Instead of carbohydrates and fats, prioritize fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Additionally, emphasis should be placed on optimal skincare practices, such as frequent hand and face washing and avoiding makeup. Targeted cosmetic treatments can also be beneficial. In general, a combination of certain derivatives of vitamin A and antibacterial ingredients can help.

Medication treatment for acne prevention can involve the use of three groups of active substances:

  • Hormones: Cyclic use of contraceptives containing estrogen and antiandrogen in women is often effective.
  • Retinoids: These substances reduce sebum production, inflammation, the formation of comedones, and bacterial proliferation.
  • Antibiotics: They moderate inflammation by inhibiting bacterial growth.


It is advisable to care for acne-prone skin with moisturizing and soothing products. Squeezing pimples often results in permanent scarring. Scars from healing acne are usually noticeable, but they can be treated with specialized dermatological interventions.

Choose your doctor