Acne: Cause, Symptoms and How to Treat It

Woman in towel holding her cheek

Acne is a common skin condition that is chronic and inflammatory by nature. It often occurs when the sebaceous glands go on an oil production overdrive. The extra sebum produced clogs hair follicles, causing pimples and spots.

This usually occurs on the face, back, shoulders, neck, upper arms and chest. Acne comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. It could be any of the following: blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, nodules, and pimples.

Acne treatment can include simple changes in your lifestyle, diet and habits. In more severe cases, you might need the help of a skin specialist in Provo.


Acne occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin produce more oil than usual, which clogs pores. Anyone can have acne, but some people are more prone to it than others.

For example, teenagers undergoing puberty and people with excessively oily skin are more likely to develop acne. Genetics, hormonal imbalances, stress, pollution, greasy cosmetics, and other environmental factors also affect the overall health of the skin.


The signs and symptoms of acne can vary based on the severity of your skin condition. Some of the symptoms might include one or more of the following:

  • Blackheads caused by open clogged pores
  • Whiteheads caused by closed clogged pores
  • Papules that look like tiny bumps and are red and tender
  • Pimples which look like papules but have pus at the tips
  • Nodules or lumps beneath the skin’s surface that are solid, large and painful
  • Pus-filled bumps found underneath the skin’s surface that are also painful (called cystic lesions)

There are various remedies you could do at home to clear your skin. For those suffering from mild acne, over-the-counter medications, such as soaps, gels, pads, lotions and creams might do the trick.

However, for moderate to severe cases, you might need to consult a qualified dermatologist for a more thorough assessment and diagnosis of your condition. You might also need stronger medications that can only be obtained through a prescription.