Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Acne Underlying Cause

The underlying cause of acne is unknown.

Four factors are responsible for the formation of acne:

  • Overgrowth of the skin cells that line the skin pores, which plugs the pore
  • Overproduction of skin oils, which also plug the pores
  • Overgrowth of the bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes
  • Inflammation of the skin

These factors cause the formation of the swollen whiteheads, blackheads and cysts in the skin.

Continue to Acne Anatomy

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acne References
  1. James WD. Clinical practice. Acne. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 7;352(14):1463-72. [15814882]
  2. Magin P, Pond D, Smith W, Watson A. A systematic review of the evidence for 'myths and misconceptions' in acne management: diet, face-washing and sunlight. Fam Pract. 2005 Feb;22(1):62-70. [15644386]
  3. Marks R. Acne and its management beyond the age of 35 years. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(6):459-62. [15663343]
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