What is acne? What are the different types of acne?

Acne (acne vulgaris, common acne) is not just a problem for teenagers; it can affect people from ages 10 through 40. It is not unusual for women, in particular, to develop acne in their mid- to late-20s, even if they have not had breakouts in years (or ever). On the positive side, those few individuals who have acne into their 40s may well grow out of it. Acne can appear on the skin as any of the following:

* congested pores ("comedones"),

* whiteheads,

* blackheads,

* pimples ("zits"),

* pustules, or

* cysts (deep pimples, boils). The pus in pustules and cysts is sterile and does not actually contain infectious bacteria.

These blemishes occur wherever there are many oil (sebaceous) glands, mainly on the face, chest, and back.

You can do a lot to treat your acne using products available at a drugstore or cosmetic counter that do not require a prescription. However, for tougher cases of acne, you should consult a physician for treatment options.

What causes acne?

No one factor causes acne. Acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands come to life around puberty, stimulated by male hormones from the adrenal glands of both boys and girls. Sebum (oil) is a natural substance which lubricates and protects the skin, and under certain circumstances, cells that are close to the surface block the openings of sebaceous glands and cause a buildup of oil underneath. This oil stimulates bacteria (which live on everyone's skin and generally cause no problems) to multiply and cause surrounding tissues to become inflamed.

Inflammation near the skin's surface produces a pustule; deeper inflammation results in a papule (pimple); deeper still and it's a cyst. If the oil breaks though to the surface, the result is a "whitehead." If the oil accumulates melanin pigment or becomes oxidized, the oil changes from white to black, and the result is a "blackhead." Blackheads are therefore not dirt, and do not reflect poor hygiene.

Here are some factors that don't usually cause acne, at least by themselves:

* Heredity: With the exception of very severe acne, most people do not have the problem exactly as their parents did. Almost everyone has some acne at some point in their life.

* Food: Parents often tell teens to avoid pizza, chocolate, greasy and fried foods, and junk food. While these foods may not be good for overall health, they don't cause acne or make it worse. Although some recent studies have implicated milk and dairy products in aggravating acne, these findings are far from established.

* Dirt: As mentioned above, "blackheads" are oxidized oil, not dirt. Sweat does not cause acne, therefore, it is not necessary to shower instantly after exercise for fear that sweat will clog pores. On the other hand, excessive washing can dry and irritate the skin.

* Stress: Some people get so upset by their pimples that they pick at them and make them last longer. Stress, however, does not play much of a direct role in causing acne.

* Hormones: Some women break out cyclically, but most women (and men) don't. Some oral contraceptive pills may help relieve acne, but unless a woman has abnormal menstrual periods and excessive hair growth, it's unlikely that hormones play much of a role in causing acne. Pregnancy has a variable effect on acne; some women report that they clear up completely, and others get worse, while many others see no overall change.

* Cosmetics: Most cosmetic and skin-care products are not pore-clogging ("comedogenic"). Of the many available brands, those which are listed as "water-based" or "oil-free" are generally a better choice.

In occasional patients, the following may be contributing factors:

* Pressure: In some patients, pressure from helmets, chinstraps, collars, suspenders, and the like can aggravate acne.

* Drugs: Some medications may cause or worsen acne, such as those containing iodides, bromides, or oral or injected steroids (either the medically prescribed prednisone or the steroids that bodybuilders or athletes take). Other drugs that can cause or aggravate acne are anticonvulsant medications and lithium, which is used to treat bipolar disorder. Most cases of acne, however, are not drug-related.

* Occupations: In some jobs, exposure to industrial products like cutting oils may produce acne.

Acne Vulgaris is the most common form of acne. Acne vulgaris lesions include blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.

Mild to Moderate acne vulgaris consists of the following types of acne spots:

Whiteheads: Whiteheads result when a pore is completely blocked, trapping sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells, causing a white appearance on the surface. Whiteheads are normally quicker in life cycle than blackheads. You can view a diagram of a whitehead on the what is acne page. The Regimen provides a step-by-step program on how to treat whiteheads.

Blackheads: Blackheads result when a pore is only partially blocked, allowing some of the trapped sebum (oil), bacteria, and dead skin cells to slowly drain to the surface. The black color is not caused by dirt. Rather, it is the skin's own pigment, melanin, reacting with the oxygen in the air. A blackhead tends to be a stable structure, and can often take a long time to clear. You can view a diagram of a blackhead on the what is acne page. The Regimen provides a step-by-step program on how to treat blackheads.

Papules: Papules are inflamed, red, tender bumps with no head. Do not squeeze a papule. It will do no good, and may exacerbate scarring. The Regimen provides a step-by-step program on how to treat papules.

Pustules: A pustule is inflamed, and appears as a red circle with a white or yellow center. Pustules are your garden variety zit. Before you pop or squeeze such a lesion, be sure to read about how to pop a pimple. The Regimen provides a step-by-step program on how to treat pustules.
Acne Vulgaris - Severe

Severe acne vulgaris is characterized by nodules and cysts:

Nodules: As opposed to the lesions mentioned above, nodular acne consists of acne spots which are much larger, can be quite painful, and can sometimes last for months. Nodules are large, hard bumps under the skin's surface. Scarring is common. Unresolved nodules can sometimes leave an impaction behind, which can flare again and again. Absolutely do not attempt to squeeze such a lesion. You may cause severe trauma to the skin and the lesion may last for months longer than it normally would. Dermatologists often have ways of lessening swelling and preventing scarring, such as injecting the lesion with cortisone.

Cysts: An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but is pus-filled, and is described as having a diameter of 5mm or more across. They can be painful. Again, scarring is common with cystic acne. Squeezing an acne cyst may cause a deeper infection and more painful inflammation which will last much longer than if you had left it alone. Dermatologists often have ways of lessening swelling and preventing scarring, such as administering a cortisone shot.
Acne Rosacea

Acne Rosacea can look similar to the aforementioned acne vulgaris, and the two types of acne are sometimes confused for one another.

Rosacea affects millions of people, most of whom are over the age of 30. It appears as a red rash which is normally confined to the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. The redness is often accompanied by bumps, pimples, and skin blemishes. Blood vessels may also become more visible on the skin. Blackheads are not part of rosacea. It is more prevalent in women, but often more severe when found in men. Left untreated, it can cause swelling of the nose and the growth of excess tissue, a condition called rhinophyma. Treatment is often different for rosacea than for acne, and it is important that you consult a dermatologist if you suspect you are experiencing rosacea.

Acne Rosacea message board
Severe forms of acne

Severe forms of acne are rare, but they inflict great hardship to the people who experience them.

Acne Conglobata: This is the most severe form of acne vulgaris and is more common in males. It is characterized by numerous large lesions, which are sometimes interconnected, along with widespread blackheads. It can cause severe, irrevocable damage to the skin, and disfiguring scarring. It is found on the face, chest, back, buttocks, upper arms, and thighs. The age of onset for acne conglobata is usually between 18 to 30 years, and the condition can stay active for many years. As with all forms of acne, the cause of acne conglobata is unknown. Treatment usually includes isotretinoin (Accutane), and although acne conglobata is sometimes resistant to treatment, it can often be controlled through aggressive treatment over time.

Acne Fulminans: This is an abrupt onset of acne conglobata which normally afflicts young men. Symptoms of severe nodulocystic, often ulcerating acne are apparent. As with acne conglobata, extreme, disfiguring scarring is common. Acne fulminans is unique in that it also includes a fever and aching of the joints. Acne fulminans does not respond well to antibiotics. Isotretinoin (Accutane) and oral steroids are normally prescribed.

Gram-Negative Folliculitis: This condition is a bacterial infection characterized by pustules and cysts, possibly occurring as a complication resulting from a long term antibiotic treatment of acne vulgaris. It is a rare condition, and we do not know if it is more common in males or females at this time. Fortunately, isotretinoin (Accutane) is often effective in combating gram-negative folliculitis.

Pyoderma Faciale (Rosacea Fulminans): This type of severe facial acne affects only females, usually between the ages of 20 to 40 years old, and is characterized by large painful nodules, pustules, and sores, all of which may scar. It begins abruptly, and may occur on the skin of a woman who has never had acne before. It is confined to the face, and usually does not last longer than one year, but can wreak havoc in a very short time. Doctors often prescribe isotretinoin (Accutane) and systemic corticosteroids are sometimes use an an adjunct.

How to pop a pimple

If you must pop, pop safely

Common advice is to let your body heal a pimple on its own without popping. But in the real world, some people absolutely refuse to go around with a bulging white zit for the world to see. Plus, when done properly, popping a pimple can actually be beneficial to the healing process. Reserve this technique only for pimples that are absolutely begging to be popped—all the way at the surface and white. After a shower is best, when the skin is supple.

1. Disinfect a needle with rubbing alcohol. A basic sharp sewing needle is a good choice.
2. Gently prick the pimple’s surface.
3. Take two tissues and wrap your index fingers with them.
4. Squeeze from the sides, confidently but gently, using a down-and-in motion. Don’t force it. If the pimple is ready, it’ll pop. If it doesn’t, leave it be. Be sure to stop if clear fluid or blood starts to come out.
5. Continuing to work at a lesion that is not ready to be popped can lead to scarring. Walk away from the mirror!


Please check if you have any allergies or sensitivity with some ingredients; such as glycerin, lemons, orange, garlic, papaya, eggs, etc. The following acne treatment and cures are good for all body acne including scalp acne. After you have successfully treated your acne, you will need to treat your acne scars, if any.

Acne usually begins with blackheads. Blackheads are formed when oil and dead cells get trapped in a pore. They then turn black when exposed to air. When blackheads become inflamed, they become red (pimples). They multiply when touched with dirty hands. So to get rid of acne, you should try blackhead remedies.

1. Zinc, Vitamin A, B & E, echinacea, thyme and tea tree oil can cure acne. Vitamin B complex can improve your acne dramatically. Take vitamin B tablet containing all the B viramins, you should see results in a few weeks.
2. Carbohydrate foods with low glycemic index or a low GI diet can improve acne by 50 percent.

Grind nutmeg (jaiphal) with unboiled milk and apply on acne for 1-2 hours. This works as a magic. Pimples should disappear without leaving a mark.

Make a paste by mixing honey and cinnamon powder. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. Repeat for two weeks, pimples will disappear forever.

Apply a mixture of 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder. Note that this remedy is not for sensitive skin.

Make orange peel paste by grinding it in some water. Apply on and around pimples.

Rub fresh garlic on and around pimples. Pimples will disappear without a mark with regular applications.

Mix 1 tablespoon groundnut oil with 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice to prevent formation of blackheads and acne .

Apply fresh mint juice over the face every night for the treatment of pimples, insect stings, eczema, scabies, & other skin infections.

Ground drumstick pods and leaves and mix mixed with fresh lime juice, and apply on pimples. This is also good for blackheads and dark spots.

Apply a paste of fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves over the face every night for 10-15 minutes and washed with warm water. This will prevent pimples, blackheads, and wrinkles.

Mix groundnut oil with an equal amtount of fresh lime juice and apply on face. Leave for 10-15 minutes and wash. It may be applied daily to prevent formation of blackheads and pimples (acne).

Apply juice of raw papaya (including the skin and seed) on swelling pimples or acne.

Apply fresh lime juice mixed to a glass of boiled milk as a face wash for pimples, blackheads, and cracked skin.

Mix lime juice and rose water in equal portions. Apply on affected area. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.

Apply ripe tomato or cucumber pulp on acne pimples and keep upto 1 hour, then wash.

Make a paste of roasted & powdered pomgranate skin with fresh lime juice and apply over boils,acne, pimple, blackheads and whiteheads.

Apply grated potatoes as poultice to treat skin blemishes, wrinkles, boils, pimples, blackheads, whiteheads , etc.

Make a paste of sandalwood with rose water. Apply on affected area. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.

Make a paste of ground radish seeds with water and apply on face to remove blackheads.

Apply a paste of ground seasame seeds with water as poultice for inflammation of the skin due to allergies, skin rashes, and pimples - acne.

Apply a paste of fresh fenugreek - methi leaves in water over the face every night and washed with warm water in the morning for preventing pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, dryness, and wrinkles.

Make a paste of ground orange peel with water and apply on the affected area. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.

Make a paste of salt in vinegar. Rub it on the pimples. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.

Make a paste of turmeric powder in mint juice. Apply on affected area. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water.

Make a paste of neem leaves with turmeric powder. Apply on affected area. Wash it off after 20-30 minutes with lukewarm water. This is a good cure of acne.

Apply fresh mint juice over face every night for pimples or acne prevention.

Drinking of wheatgrass juice may remove acne.

Acne on Scalp

Scalp acne is treated in the same manner as the acne on face.

1. Try any of the remedies given above.
2. Dip a cotton ball in a skin cleanser containing salicylic acid and apply on the acne area.
3. Do not use any acne cream/oil containing benzoil peroxide or other peroxide ingredients on the scalp because it may change the color of your hair.
4. Mix 4 parts tea tree oil to 1 part lavender oil in olive oil or any other oil and apply to the scalp as a shampoo. This works as a wonder if your scalp problem is due to any infection.
5. Boil a cup of neem leaves in water. Wash your head with this water when it is warm.

The term acne is derived from the Greek word Acne which means skin eruption. In medical circle, it is known as Acne Vulgaris. Acne or pimples is a disorder that causes your skin to inflame due to changes in the sebaceous or oil glands found on your skin and hair follicles. The inflammation can either be small or large, tender or hard, soft or dull, red, black or white. It usually occurs on the face, neck, shoulders, back and chest, but eruption of acne all over the body is not unusual.

Acne is commonly known as pimple or zit. It develops when the pores on your skin get plugged. This happens due to the action of hormones and other substances on your skin's oil glands. It is the most common among teenagers in puberty, but can also affect infants, teenagers and adults alike. It is also not limited to any creed or race.

If you are also an acne sufferer, you would have noticed that the 'T zone' of your face was the first acne-invaded area. The 'T-zone' includes the forehead, the nose and the chin. Apart from the T-zone, acne may also appear on your cheeks and other parts of the face. The second most common area for acne to appear is the back, followed by the neck, the chest, and the shoulders.

Though acne, over time, diminishes gradually and then disappears entirely, some people suffer from this infliction throughout their lives. They develop acne as late as in their 40s or 50s. In fact, acne affects a large portion of the world's population at some time or the other in their lifespan.

Actually, acne is such a common condition that it affects approximately 85% people between the ages of 12 and 24. 25% of this 85% suffer from acne in other places besides the face. As a matter of fact, acne can be so severe that you can be forced to seek medical help, which is done by at least 40% of all acne sufferers.

Unfortunately, acne has been surrounded by myths and misconceptions since decades. You might believe that a particular type of diet, stress, anger, frustration, and similar feelings would lead to acne. But, this is not true. You might also believe that exposure to sun would cure your acne. This is again not true.

However, there are several medications, therapies, techniques, and tips available to help cure your acne. But, the type of treatment you chose would depend on your stage of acne, skin color, and the type of acne you have. In addition to finding out more about your particular type of acne, you will also have to take special care of your skin. While acne is not a life-threatening disorder, it can cause permanent scars. Though you can undertake treatment for scars, these might have a psychological effect and social impact. But, you do not need to worry as today acne is not something that happens to only a particular type of people. In fact, it has become a global phenomenon.

Acne (Acne)

W hen dealing with the phenomen of pimples it is usually youth pimples that comes to mind. Youth pimples stands out from pimples in grown ups in that the latter variant is more likely to be accompanied by seborrheic (greasy) skin. On the other hand is it less often that the problem first arise after the individual is grown up. Adults is considered to respond better to treatment with antibiotics (teracyclines/penicillin) than what youths does. In both cases the inflammations certainly decrease, but they usually come back fast in youths after finished course of treatment. A state of numerous pimples is called acne. The emergance of acne has its reasons in the production of tallow in the skin on one hand, but also due to the fact that the openings of the surface of the skin of the sebaceous glands is stopped up, usually by horn cells (skin cells). The preliminary stage of a pimple is the comedone. (a so-called blackhead. Divided into "whiteheads" and "blackheads" it is usually said that the white ones is the most dangerous.) Far from all comedons is possible to see with the naked eye. In addition to the large comedons is there small rascals, as well, which is called micro comedons.

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Sulphur preparations

I n the old days it was common to treat acne with sulphur preparations. This leads in the short term to a desiccation of the skin, after which the proportions of the inflammations seems to decrease. However, the obstruction of the sebaucous glands is increased so that more micro comedons occur. In the long term the acne returns with a vengeance.That is why sulphur preparations is preferably used in combination with other preparations nowadays.

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Non-prescription preparations

T he most common preparations on the market contains benzoyl peroxid or salicyl acid. Benzoyl peroxid works in a germicidal and deobstructing way, but stimulates renewal of cells in the horn layer of the skin. Salicyl acid is deobstructing and germicidal. However, it is uncertain whether it is effective in the frequently used concentrations.

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Prescription preparations

A -vitamine acid preparats that is common at drug stores, like Aberela, is available on prescription only (Sweden). Otherwise is a-vitamine acid the presumably most effective common prescription ingredient in salves and suchlike things. The one who searches can find salves and creams with a-vitamine acid or a derivative from a-vitamine in the free supplies of the shops. The concentrations may then be significantly higher than the for the drug store salve usual 0,05 per cent. The risk with a-vitamine acid is that skin irritation may occur, especially in connection with sun-bathing. Very often the skin needs to get used to the salve through an initially escalated treatment. A-vitamine acid must not be used in connection with pregnancy!

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Tea tree oil

E very once in a while you hear that so-called tea tree oil is supposed to be just as effective against acne as benzoyl peroxid. Perhaps, and especially when the skin is washed in an aromatherapy. To let concentrated tea tree oil sink into the skin without accompanying washing irritates it with likely undesired effects such as increased secretion of tallow etc. as a result. In an aromatherapy can concentrated oil be effective, especially together with a-vitamine acid preparats.

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Combinative effects

S alves with a-vitamine and salves with benzoyl peroxid should not be applied to the skin together. The benzoyl peroxid oxidates the a-vitamine and makes it ineffective. Benz oylperoxid should be used separately on the whole. Yet does it work perfectly well to alternate between benzoyl peroxid and a-vitamine acid, for example, between night and day or the like.

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S un-bathing and ultra-violet radiation have a favourable effect on acne, at least temporally. All preparats should be washed off where the skin is exposed to radiation.

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Diet etc.

T he current recommendations advice the affected to avoid foods that seem to make the acne worse. In spite of the fact that no scientific examinations have been made to support the importance of food is it, however,unquestionable that food do play an important role. Milk products and iodic foods constitutes classic risk factors. Fat foods and choclet may be of subordinated importance by themselves. However, the risks are accentuated by other risk food that is consumed together with these. Deep cleansing of the skin affects the condition in a positive way by decreasing the amount of stagnant material in the skin, in which infection can occur. Note that only "silent" comedons may be driven out with mechanical influence. Inflamed pimples should not be touched as the bacterial material can spread between sebaucous glands and depth-wise, as well. A visit at a cosmetologist can be a good idea for a proper treatment , even if those surely will charge a criminal amount of money for the service.

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Internal treatment

I n more serious cases of acne can a-vitamine be used as well as antibiotics for internal treatment. This should take place under the supervision of a responsible skin doctor. A-vitamine is toxic in large quantities. Especially noticeable is its foetus-damaging effects, in particular if any lack of essential nutriments seems to exist.

Acne can be embarrassing when it pops up in adulthood, yet, it’s not uncommon. Up to 12 percent of adult women in the US suffer from facial acne, which persists into middle age, says a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

“When adults come into my office with acne, they’re much more distraught than teens,” agrees Paul Cohen, a dermatologist at the Rosedale Dermatology Centre. “For teens, acne is sort of a rite of passage but for women—especially those who start breaking out for the first time as adults—they can get quite upset by it.”

Whether you are prone to the occasional pimple or are experiencing a more serious skin problem, read on for ways to get clearer skin today.

A Common Condition:
“It’s a myth that acne is only an issue for teenagers,” says Cohen. Though some women have breakouts on their back and chest, where there are a lot of oil glands, most women get pimples on their chin and jaw line. As if adult breakouts aren’t tough enough to deal with—especially if you’re trying to combat wrinkles at the same time—they can even leave more of a mark, since older skin takes longer to heal.

The Causes:
Whether you’ve been dealing with acne since high school or just had your first breakout at age 35, these are some of the common causes:

* A family history: If your mom or dad had severe scarring acne, you’re more likely to inherit the same problem.
* Withdrawal from the pill: The birth control pill is an excellent treatment for acne, and going off the pill may trigger breakouts.
* Stress: The stress response causes the release of cortisol, which can increase oil production and block pores.
* Rich anti-wrinkle products: Using oily creams can also lead to breakouts.
* Dairy products: Recent research links dairy intake to acne because many milk products contain hormones.
* Sugary foods: A Colorado State University study suggests that a Western diet—highly processed carbs and sugary drinks and foods—may boost hormones and insulin—which stimulates oil production and clogs pores.
* Pregnancy: The hormonal changes of pregnancy may aggravate skin problems.

Hit the Drug Store If…You Just Have a Few Zits

Dry up pimples with a product containing benzoyl peroxide. Stick to moisturizers that are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin, as well as oil-free, non-comedogenic make-up.

See a Dermatologist If…Your Acne is Scarring or If You Have Dark Skin (Which Scars More Easily)

A dermatologist will review your medical history to find out what’s causing your acne. If it’s a hormonal cause, she may prescribe one of the following treatments:

* The pill: The birth control pill may help clear up hormone-related acne.
* Antibiotics: Tetracycline and other antibiotics reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
* Creams: Retinol or tretinoin have exfoliating and anti-aging properties.
* Glycolic peels: These peels exfoliate the skin, getting rid of oil and blackheads.
* Accutane: This medication may cure persistent acne.
* Blue light illumination: After a chemical called Levulan is applied to the skin, a blue light is shone on the face to kill bacteria and keep skin clear for up to one year without the need for other medication, says Cohen.
* Zeno: Available at dermatologists’ offices, this new medical device destroys acne-causing bacteria and prevents pimples.

A Healthy Routine

When it comes to cleansing acne-prone skin, less is more. "If you wash acne-prone skin too often, you can make it worse.” Try the following routine twice a day:

Step 1: Wash with a cleanser that is specifically formulated for acne-prone skin and your own skin type.

Step 2: If your skin is oily, apply a toner all over, or in your T-zone (your forehead, your chin and the sides of your nose)

Step 3: Apply medicated products, such as benzoyl peroxide.

Step 4: Apply a sunscreen, followed with a moisturizer, in the morning.

Pimples are one of the most common forms of acne. This reddish skin inflammation is very apparent especially during adolescent years. A pimple is commonly seen on the face but it is also evident in other parts of the body such as the chest and back areas.

Acne pimples are unsightly skin irritations because it’s difficult to hide them under a make up, particularly when they are big and the pus is obvious. The swelling can be reduced overnight but the pimple will not actually subside after applying some overnight gel or cream. It will just dry up but will still be visible.

There are some ways on how to cure acne and how to prevent them from appearing. Here are some valuable tips you can follow when you face another skin irritation challenge:

1. At the sight of pimple, never touch your face with an unwashed hand. Wash your hands first with soap or water even before applying any product on your face.

2. Instead of applying powder to cover up too much oil (which is an agent for having acne pimples), use oil control film instead. Powder can actually block the pores and then dirt will settle on your face.

3. Never prick your pimples, especially if you don’t know the process and the medicine applied during facial treatments. Pricking will just worsen the condition by scarring your skin.

4. Back acne can be really itchy, particularly when the fabric of your cloth can easily irritate the skin. Never scratch your back because it will just inflame the pimples more. Instead, just rub your back lightly so you won’t scar your skin.

Acne pimples take time to heal, but you can do something to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling these can bring.