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Before You Even Think About Popping Your Pimples, Please Read This

According to board-certified dermatologist and Youtube creator Andrea Suarez, M.D., FAAD, pimples are caused by a few different factors. “First is excess sebum (aka, oil) production in the skin,” she says. While some people may experience excess oil without pimples, it is common for those with oilier skin types to also have acne-prone skin.

“Second is the fact that the skin cells lining the pore can be prone to slow turnover, then getting sticky and plugging up the pore,” Suarez continues. When this happens in combination with the excess oil, it creates a favorable environment for acne-causing bacteria, she says.

“As this bacteria breaks down the sebum, inflammatory signals come in, causing redness, swelling, and [for some] cyst formation.” It’s important to note while this mechanism does lead to acne, the underlying causes can vary; these include hormones, genetics, certain skin care products, and more.

If you want to learn more, check out our guide to the seven most common types of acne, which includes causes and treatment options.

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