Basic Acne 101

General Acne Terms Defined

Not only is clearing up acne a task, deciphering acne product labels can sometimes be just as confusing. Below you’ll learn about some common terms that appear on acne products. Before you spend big bucks on your next acne product, read the information below to ensure you know just what you’re buying.


This word refers to an inflammatory skin disease that can appear on the face, back, shoulders, or even chest. It includes the whole range of acne types including blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and cysts and nodules.


This word is essentially a more complicated way of saying blackhead. A blackhead is caused by oil and dead skin getting trapped in a hair follicle, but the hair follicle still remains open.


This is word literally refers to an elevation of your skin. Pimples are caused by debris and oil getting trapped in your hair follicle, and the hair follicle closes.


This word is certainly difficult to pronounce, but it’s a word that appears on many acne products. All it means is that a product won’t clog pores, and this is beneficial for individuals who are prone to acne.


Another word for this tongue twister is oil. Sebaceous glands secrete oil. While oil is a necessary lubricant for your skin, an overabundance of oil can cause acne by clogging pores.


This word is easy. It simply refers to anything that can be applied to the skin. If you use acne cream such as Clearasil or any other acne facial products, they are considered topical.

While the above list is certainly not comprehensive, the are terms you'll frequently encounter during your fight against acne. Because of this, it's important to know exactly what they mean. Become familiar with these acne definitions and add them to your acne info arsenal.

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