Are Pimples Acne?


“My son doesn’t have acne! He just has those regular teenage pimples, you know, that all kids get.”

“I don’t have acne. I just have these hormonal breakouts that happen at that time of the month.”

“I don’t know why my daughters have those awful acne pimples. I never had acne. Plenty of blackheads and those bumps under the skin, but no acne, thank heavens!”

“I have never had acne. I get congested pores, but who doesn’t?”

When you call yourself “The Acne Treatment Center” you hear it all. To many, “acne” really is the worst four letter word. Better to say “pimples” because it sounds so innocent. Occasional breakouts, complexion problems, blackheads, congested pores, whiteheads, bumps, pimples. Hate to be the one to tell you, but they are all acne. Unless they are something worse, but that’s another article.

Acne is a hereditary condition in which the sebaceous follicles (that’s “pores” for the rest of us) shed too many dead skin cells at a time. The body can’t keep up. These dead skin cells mix with the oil, or sebum if you are keeping score, produced in our pores and make tiny little plugs that gradually – and I do mean gradually, it can take 90 days!—work their way to the surface.

Acne is of two types, inflamed and non-inflamed. If you have the inflamed type, these plugs will cause your pores to form pimples and sometimes cysts. If you have the non-inflamed type, they will form blackheads, whiteheads (don’t confuse them with pustules or classic pimples) and bumps. This type is less noticeable, but the skin feels bumpy and doesn’t look healthy.

Without those extra dead skin cells, you won’t get pimples, you won’t get blackheads, you won’t have complexion problems, or congested pores, or occasional bumps, or hormonal breakouts. You can have really oily skin and you will be perfectly smooth if you don’t have the extra dead skin cells.

A lot of people think acne is caused by bacteria. Everyone’s skin harbors a bacteria that is important to the well-being of our skin. It eats dead skin cells and sebum. It has the unfortunate name of propionibacterium acne, or p.acnes for short. It was given the “acne” portion of its name by a scientist in the 1890s who first found it in the pus from a pimple and concluded it caused acne.

You can use all the methods of pimple treatments out there for killing that bacteria, but unless you get rid of the extra skin cells, you’re still going to have acne. It will generally be the non-inflamed kind, so the pimples will be mostly gone, until you stop taking the antibiotic to get rid of pimples and then the inflammation will come back and so will the pimples.

Kat Leverette, acne specialist at Clinically Clear Skin Rehab Center in Oakland, CA and one of the top Acne Specialists in the world, likes to say, “If Tetracycline can cure venereal disease in ten days, why, after taking it for three years, do you still have acne?”

And this doesn’t even begin to address all the problems you are creating for your body and the world by being on antibiotics for that long.

So how do you get rid of the extra skin cells?


Wait! Before you grab your wash cloth or your apricot kernels and start scrubbing, you need to know it is exfoliation inside the pores! Your washcloth can’t reach there. All the scrubbing in the world isn’t going to help. In fact, it is going to make it worse because irritating your skin prevents it from healing.

There are products that can do that, but it is best to have some guidance in using them.

Even if we are the “Acne” Treatment Center, we can help with the occasional pimple, hormonal breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, bumps, scarring and congested pores.

Give us a call and let’s get started: 360-852-8457

©2011 Jane Neville Dudik, The Acne Treatment Center,