What Causes Acne?

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Acne, also commonly called pimples or zits, is the most common skin condition in the United States. Acne occurs when pores become clogged with skin cells, oil, dirt, and bacteria. The pore is an opening to the pilosebaceous unit, comprised of the hair, the follicle in which the hair sits, and the sebaceous gland, which produces sebum, an oil. If clogged, the pores can form blackheads or whiteheads. Blackheads, or open comedones, contain keratin, which gives the blemish its black appearance, in addition to dirt and dead skin cells.

Whiteheads, or closed comedones, contain a cap filled with sebum, imparting a whitish appearance, as well as dirt and other debris. Both whiteheads and blackhead are non-inflammatory. When the bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acne, proliferate and the walls of the follicle rupture, an inflammation can develop, leading to papules and pustules. Moderate to severe forms of acne are characterized by nodules, or hard bumps, and cysts, sacs filled with pus and fluid.

These can ultimately lead to scarring and pigment changes. Acne is most prevalent in teenagers due to surge in hormone production, which is one of the factors triggering acne. But acne can affect anyone from newborns to adults in their 30s and 40s. Other causes of acne include greasy or comedogenic cosmetic products, medications such as steroids, estrogen, and lithium, as well as high levels of humidity and sweating. At Ethos Spa we offer a prescription strength anti-acne formula that is highly effective in treating mild to moderate acne.

Available in gel or a light cream-based formula, its five key ingredients – retinoic acid, or tretinoin, salicylic acid, lactobionic acid, niacinamide, and azelaiz acid work in concert to combat the major causes of acne. We also offer laser treatments for acne and acne scars and other non invasive cosmetic procedures and aesthetic procedures at our offices in Summit, New Jersey.

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