August 07 2022


What is acne?     

It is an inflammation of the skin. It is due to the obstruction of the sebaceous glands by the excessive fat produced by these glands. It happens in more than 90% of the people, being the age of maximum frequency from 14 to 17 years in girls and 16 to 19 in boys.

What are its causes?     

Although the cause itself is not well established, acne is related to increased fat production by the sebaceous glands of the skin due to increased hormonal activity of the ovary, testicle, and adrenal glands.

What are the symptoms?     

Blackheads (comedones):

Agglomeration of fat, skin, and bacteria in the outlet duct of the sebaceous glands. They are the so-called black spots, which if pressed push out a greasy material.

Whiteheads (comedones):

Small pointy pimples, with the end containing a small accumulation of yellow pus. They originate from infected blackheads.


Larger than the shin, it represents a more advanced phase of the same lesion. It may contain pus on the end or not, depending on whether it has been removed or pressed. They are usually red.


Bulges that settle in the thickness of the skin motivated by the dissemination of comedones content in the dermis, which inevitably becomes inflamed.


When the contents of the comedones can not go out and evacuate, small cysts can be formed by retention of fat.

How is it diagnosed?     

We are so familiar with the appearance of a face with acne, that its diagnosis is usually obvious. However, you should consult with your doctor to assess if this usually benign process follows the normal way or needs a medical intervention.

Which is the treatment?     

Common acne can be treated with the application of a 5% benzoyl peroxide cream, gel or lotion once a day, usually at night, after degreasing the skin by washing with soapy water. There are several brands available. Talk to your pharmacist about this. The 10% formulation should be indicated by the doctor when he deems it appropriate

People with pale skin (blond, redhead) should start treatment with benzoyl peroxide by spacing applications every 48-72 hours for the first two to three weeks.

How to help improve it     

Wash face with soapy water twice a day and whenever you sweat abundantly. It is not interesting to do it more often than indicated, as it irritates and weakens the skin.

Avoid pressing and touching the lesions. Doing so often prevents acne from sticking. The pressure on the grains can spread the fatty content and the bacteria, being able to spread the local infection.

When a pimple is ripe, ie, it has a pus-filled head, it can be removed by gentle rubbing with a sterile gauze dipped in alcohol or by puncturing with a disposable injection needle (single use). Be wary of needles disinfected by homemade methods.

How to help prevent it     

Food has no relation to acne, so it is not reasonable to establish any kind of dietary exclusion. If you identify a cause-and-effect relationship between acne and any particular food, you can do without it, but you should consult with your doctor about this self-imposed restriction because it could be harmful to your health.

Updated date: October 9, 2010