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The Dreaded Four Letter Word: A C N E

I stopped doing various activities that I enjoyed because of my acne. I did not want to wear make up because it would only make it worse, but not wearing make up also prevented me from going out with friends, working out in public classes, and doing simple things like going to the grocery store. I would choose to hibernate in order to avoid looking at myself in the mirror because I was so disgusted with my facial acne. I realized that while exfoliating and moisturizing was vital, I would also have to get it treated by a physician to prevent new breakouts.

The dreaded four letter word: A C N E.

What is acne? Other than it being the annoying, pesky, little thing that pops up uninvited and refuses to leave, what exactly does it comprise of and how is it caused?

In order to accurately treat acne, the answer to these questions are extremely important.

A pimple, the most common form of acne, is formed underneath the pore of the skin. When a gland, which is located underneath the pore, produces an excessive amount of sebum, the sebum clogs the pore, forming a plug in the gland. The pore becomes filled with sebum and possibly bacteria, leading to swelling and inflammation surrounding the clogged pore. As a result, a white tip forms at the top of the pore, known as pus.

Acne comes in many shapes, sizes and forms. Acne is a broad term that includes the following blemishes: pustules (pimples), blackheads, nodules, whiteheads, papules and cysts. Each of these are caused by different factors but they all have one thing in common- if left untreated, they can multiply and cause scars.

Yes, in order to prevent reccurring facial acne, using face washes that contain salicylic acid and hydroxy acids are important but to treat recurring facial acne, one must address the root of the villainous cystic acne. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments that can help heal and prevent future forms of acne from occurring.

By: Arti Kandalam B.A., M.S.

Clinical Research Coordinator, Houston Center for Clinical Research

What Can You Do About Your Acne?

Here at the Houston Center for Clinical Research, we are currently conducting trials to treat active acne. No insurance is required, all medication and study visits are provided for free, and patients will be compensated for their time and travel should they qualify and decide to participate. Please call 832-929-6221 to learn more and/or fill out the Contact Us form at

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