What is the Difference Between Clogged Pores & Acne?
Facial skin is made up of tiny openings known as pores, which are responsible for producing oil that makes your skin feel soft and supple. However, due to hormone swings or other factors, oil glands can produce too much oil or become clogged from other sources. When this occurs, problem skin such as pimples can occur.
The clinical term for clogged pores is a comedone, which can be clogged with oil, debris, dust or dead skin. Acne refers to the collection of clogged pores that can manifest themselves in a number of pimples, blackheads or whiteheads. Therefore, acne is a form of clogged pores, but not all clogged pores are acne.
A clogged pore can take on a number of appearances, including as a black, pinpoint-type dot known as a blackhead--which is a partially blocked pore--or a whitehead, which is a completely blocked pore that has a white, pinpoint-type dot on the skin's surface. Acne is a collection of these blocked pores, as well as red, inflamed bumps known as pimples.
A clogged pore can be caused by a number of factors: lack of sufficiently washing the face, which may result in clogged pores; the body producing too much oil; dry skin on the face that blocks pores; or dust and debris that block pores. Acne is caused due to three chief factors: excess production of oil (which can be due to hormone swings, particularly in young people), buildup of dead skin and bacteria buildup.
Clogged pores can be prevented by washing the face twice daily (once in the morning and then again at night). It's also good to use an exfoliating scrub to rid the skin of dead cells in order to prevent buildup. Also, because excessively dry skin can stimulate the excess production of oil, a moisturizer may be necessary in order to prevent dryness.
Because acne also may have a hormonal component, women who experience acne problems may be able to prevent it through taking hormonal medications such as birth control pills, which help prevent hormone fluctuations.
A clogged pore can be treated with a number of spot treatments, ones that apply a small dab of product to the affected area. These are best when they contain active ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Because acne is found all over the face and body and is typically more severe than clogged pores, over-the-counter topical treatments intended for the whole face may prove effective. Other prescription methods include antibiotics, which can fight inflammation, and prescription medications such as Retin-A or Differin may contain stronger acne-fighting drugs.
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