Acne is a condition which develops in and around the hair follicles and
their oil producing glands called the sebaceous glands. Although these glands exist
all over the surface of the body, it is only on the face, chest and back that
The oil produced by sebaceous glands is called sebum and it begins to appear soon after puberty. When the oil glands become blocked, this leads to the formation of comedones — blackheads and whiteheads.
Bacteria in the deeper part of the hair follicle and beneath the sebum blockage release chemicals which act upon the sebum and break it down to release other chemicals. These chemicals make the skin around the hair follicle red and inflamed, resulting in a pimple. If inflammation worsens, pus may develop within the pimple. Large, painful swellings called nodules and cysts may develop, which can result in scarring after the condition has eventually settled. These scars can either be depressed and sunken, or bulging and hard.
See your doctor if: