How common is acne?

Acne is so common that it is affects almost all of us at least once in our life especially on our face.  About half of us will experienced acne on our back while acne on the chest and scalp is not so common (around 10-15%).

How a pimple forms

  • People with acne have excess oil (sebum) production
  • There is keratinocyte (skin cells) hyper proliferation at the hair follicle opening (pore)
  • Propionibacterium multiples in the blocked pore
  • Finally results in inflammation and disruption of skin barrier

Click ScienceInsider video on Pimples

In the early stage, a blocked gland due to plugged congealed oil or skin cells results in a whitehead. When this oil plug gets exposed to air, it becomes darker into brown or black, hence the term blackhead. Both whitehead and blackhead are non-inflammatory and not painful.  A pimple forms when bacteria gets inside (due to poor hygiene or using fingers to pick the pimple) resulting in inflammation and swelling.

Types of acne lesions

  • Comedones
  • Papules (small inflamed bump)
  • Pustules (pimple with pus at the tip also known as ‘zit’)
  • Nodules (large solid painful lumps)
  • Cystic lesions (painful pus-filled lesions)

Common sites for pimples

Acne typically appears on your face, forehead and nose (the typical T-zone). It can also occur on the chest, upper back and shoulders as well as the scalp.  It is important to get treatment EARLY to prevent it from getting worse and irreversible scarring.

Click to view Revisone video on Acne Tips


  • Keep your face clean by maintaining a regular face cleaning regime. Stick with a mild and non-perfumed brand of cleanser. Don’t scrub your face too hard because that might make it worse!
  • Tie up your hair to prevent it from touching your face
  • Avoid heavy make-up which can clog up your skin pores. If you do use make up, remove thoroughly at night or look for ‘non-comedogenic’ make up to reduce clogging
  • Try not to pick your whiteheads or pimples as this can cause infection and pustule formation
  • Stop smoking or avoid smoky and dusty areas
  • Do regular exercise as sweating helps to clear the pores on a regular basis
  • Swimming is also good as chlorine in the water helps to dry up the skin
  • Avoid unhealthy diet high in sugar, oily greasy foods and refined carbohydrates

See a skin doctor to get the correct diagnosis and treatment to prevent irreversible scarring on your face

Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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