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What Causes Acne

From the moment you are born, your skin begins a lifelong process of shedding dead cells and producing oil. This process can be disrupted by your hormone balance, which changes throughout your life. The acne cycle is initiated when excess oil and dead skin cells combine to plug the pore of a hair follicle; behind the plugged pore, bacteria grow and multiply, triggering inflammation and swelling. That's an acne blemish.

Clearing Up Myths About the Causes of Acne

Acne is not caused by anything you're "doing". Instead, acne is a complex condition triggered by genetics and hormones—sometimes aggravated by stress.

Acne Myths Cleared Up

Acne Is Surprisingly Common

People with acne often feel incredibly alone but the fact is, acne is the most common skin disease in the world, with tens of millions of sufferers. More than 85% of Americans have acne breakouts at some time in their lives. Among teenagers, about 90% develop acne, and it can last all their teen years. Many adults have acne, too. Among adult women, about 50% experience acne breakouts at some point; among men, about 25%—and the chronic nature of the condition means adults may have to endure symptoms for decades if not treated.

Acne Affects Teens & Adults

Acne is Chronic But Can Be Controlled

Acne is what doctors call a chronic condition, which means it can last for years—even decades in adults. Because there is no cure, the key to a clear complexion is control and prevention with the kind of medicated daily maintenance therapy that Proactiv pioneered. The pimples you see today started as tiny microcomedones, or pre-pimples, deep inside your skin about three weeks before breaking out. Hundreds of tiny pre-pimples may be forming continuously in any of the thousands of pores on your face. Even when your skin looks clear, they may still be there—percolating invisibly under the skin's surface. To help you get and maintain clear skin, Proactiv helps keep these pre-pimples from forming or emerging—and that's what it means to treat chronic acne "proactively."

Face Fitness

Choosing an Acne Care System

The vast majority of acne breakouts can be successfully treated with topical over-the-counter medications. However, some more severe cases of inflammatory acne may require a combination of topical and oral medications prescribed by a dermatologist. Prescription treatments are required to be administered under a doctor's care because they have the potential to cause unwanted—and sometimes quite serious—side effects. For mild to moderate acne, regular maintenance therapy with a system that combines topical over-the-counter treatments is the safe and preferred way to go.

Proactiv is safe and effective for almost everyone with mild to moderate acne—healing the breakouts you may have today and keeping your complexion clear by helping to prevent future breakouts. By clearing your skin, Proactiv also helps to keep blemishes from leaving behind permanent scars. Proactiv combines mild concentrations of antimicrobial acne medicine with botanical skin-care agents to gently remove excess dead skin cells and oil (to keep pores from clogging); to kill acne causing bacteria inside pores; and to soothe redness and irritation.

How Proactiv® Works

Types of Acne

Acne is a continuous cycle: (1) excess oil and dead skin cells clog pores; (2) acne bacteria grow and multiply behind the blocked pore; (3) inflammation and swelling result. That's your breakout. The acne cycle starts two to three weeks before a breakout is visible, and it can be happening in any of the thousands of pores on your face.

Types of Acne