Understanding Acne: Causes, Types, and Treatments

Acne affects about 95% of teens and affects nearly 30% of individuals as adults. It is the most common skin condition and causes frustration and embarrassment for those who fight it. 

There are many different causes, types, and treatments for acne. Once you understand your situation, you can decide the best way to combat your acne causes and properly treat that pesky acne problem.

†The information and supporting material on this website are for informational purposes only. The objective of this website is to offer broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health, wellness, and cosmetic topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Genetics is unfortunately the most uncontrollable and significant cause of acne. If your parents had moderate or severe acne, you most likely will suffer from acne as well. This is not within your control but does not mean your acne can't be stopped.
The androgen hormones are released as a teen and begins the process of oil secretion and acts as the trigger to the beginning of acne symptoms. As you reach adulthood, the fluxuating hormones in your body cause even more acne flair ups. Hormones cannot be controlled either, though the acne causing oil and bacteria can be controlled.
Major stress in your life can cause your acne symptoms to become more severe or cause more oil secretion in general to trigger acne blemishes that you could otherwise avoid. Take measure to curb your stress, such as meditation or deep breathing.
What you eat has less to do with acne than most people think, though making sure you have the correct ratio of fatty acids and that you are drinking plenty of water can absolutely make acne symptoms less severe.
Certain cosmetics or makeup products can clog the pores even more than they already are when you are suffering from acne. Make sure you pay attention to what you put on your skin and that your skin is not reacting poorly to their use.
Where you spend your time, sleep, or live could affect your acne. Keeping your skin clean is key, so if you live or work in a place that makes that difficult, your skin could react negatively.
Touching your skin often or rubbing it excessively can cause more oil secretion and therefore, more acne. Try to be aware of what touches your skin, including your dirty or oily hands, and limit that exposure.


Acne is a complex process that begins weeks before the blemishes actually show themselves. The process of plugging of the pore, oil secretions, bacterial overgrowth, and inflammation happens with acne of all types:
Non-inflamitory acne includes blackheads and whiteheads. With each of these, the pore is clogged, and extra bacteria grows within the pore under the skin. These types of acne are not painful or inflamed.
Inflammatory acne includes papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Each of these types of acne occur when the pore becomes infected and white blood cells are released to the location to attempt to fight it. This causes painful swelling and redness. Many of these house pus or blood and can hurt for weeks at a time or even leave scars.


Acne is partly caused by excess oils or debris clogging the pores, so cleaning your skin often eliminates these. Washing your skin morning and night is a good habit to get into.
A dermatology provider, like the wonderful Jen Blais at Catalyst, can determine if your acne could benefit from the use of a topical acne treatment or antibiotic treatments to help get rid of the bacterial infections on your skin.*

*Results may vary.
Clinical spa treatments like Facials, Microderms, or Chemical Peels can help to deep clean your pores and stop some of the acne causing process that develops into painful or unsightly blemishes. A monthly deep clean treatment with a spa like Catalyst Clinical Spa is recommended.*

*Results for each treatment may vary from person to person.
Blue light therapy exposes your acne prone skin to intense blue light, which kills acne causing bacteria and could help limit your acne. This type of therapy needs to be done by a trained professional. Check out the amazing Aestheticians at Catalyst Clinical Spa.*

*Results for each treatment may vary from person to person.
This is a clinical spa treatment that cleans the skin and prevents acne with a tiny vacuum that cleans the pores and pulses periodic light to kill the acne causing bacteria at the same time. A clinical spa professional can help administer this treatment and clear up your skin. Catalyst offers this treatment as well!*

*Results for each treatment may vary from person to person.

Get YOUR Acne Under Control

Catalyst Medical Center and Clinical Spa can help you determine what is causing your acne, what type you are suffering from, and how to best treat in order to give you glowing, blemish-free skin! Call Today!