How Does Closed Acne Form?

How Does Closed Acne Form2

Acne is a skin condition that is no small cause of anxiety among teens and adults. There are different types of acne, with different ranges of severity. In this article, we will consider closed acne, also known as comedonal acne. We will breakdown how it forms, what causes it, what you can do to prevent it, and what can be done to cure it.

What is Closed Acne?

There are different types of acne, and closed acne is regarded as the mildest type of acne. On the other hand, cystic acne is considered to be the most severe form. If you suffer from this type of acne, do not stress, since stress can even make it worse.

To get rid of this form of acne, you should know how to treat it correctly. With the right information, you should be able to clear it up, although we must say that different things apply to different people.

The first step to treating closed acne is to know what it is. Closed acne or comedonal acne is the type of acne that shows up when the cells that line the ducts of your oil gland grow large and produce more oil and dirt than usual. This build-up of dirt and oil leads to blockage or closing on the surface of your skin.

What Does Closed Acne Look Like?

Before you start treating anything, you need to be sure that what you have is closed acne. So how can you identify it? Experts say that closed acne falls into one of two categories.

First, you have the blackheads, and then there are whiteheads. What are blackheads? Blackheads are so named because the sebum in the open hair follicle becomes black upon exposure to air. On the other hand, it becomes a whitehead when the follicle is not exposed to the air but is instead blocked by dead skin, bacteria, and sebum.

Another thing about this type of acne is that it isn’t usually inflamed. On the other hand, inflammatory acne comes with red bumps, cysts, and pustules. This type of acne is not unique to the face. According to dermatologists, you might experience it wherever there is a large number of sebaceous follicles. Thus it can appear not only on the face but also on your chest or your back. When on the face, it often pops up on the chin or forehead. It is not only a problem encountered by teens but can affect anybody.

What Causes Closed Acne?

Generally, this type of acne is a result of clogged pores. The pores are clogged by dead skin and sebum. However, other factors can contribute to this problem. Some of these include stuff that we do every day. Let’s consider some of them.

1. Hormones

Hormones are responsible for a lot of things in the body. Some of the things that they can cause include the production of sebum. When this happens, there is a failure of the dead skin cells on the follicle to shed. These are often found in teenagers because of their puberty. This is also linked to the secretion of skin oil. When there is plenty of secretion of oil, it can cause whiteheads and blackheads in the face. And when the skin is oily, you are more likely to suffer from acne. With the increased oil production, your skin gets airtight and feels stuffy.

2. Oily Products

Another factor that can cause closed acne is oily products. These external factors, for example, products that block your pores, can lead to closed acne. Some of these include moisturizers and makeup. By limiting the use of these products, you can keep comedonal acne to a minimum. If you must use such products, ensure that they are free of oil and will not block your pores.

3. Excessive Cleaning

Acne is not caused by not cleaning your face, but if you have acne, regular cleaning is a vital part of your routine. Can too much of a good thing be bad? Well, it appears so. Excessive cleaning of your face can be as bad as not cleaning your face. If you wash your face too regularly or clean too often, you might end up eliminating all the oils required by your skin for it to remain fresh.

Apart from that, you can cause closed acne by breaking down the acid mantle. This mantle refers to the protective coating that is on the skin. If you want your skin to look great and strong, then the acid mantle must have similar qualities.

When you excessively clean your face, you will likely finish up with a face that is easily irritated and dry – which is certainly not what you want. With that in mind, many people look for products that have strong cleansing elements. While these might serve for a while, they can do more harm than good. For example, they might cause your skin to become irritated. Irritated skin will seek to protect itself by producing extra keratin. And when these are on the face, they can clog the pores and will lead to closed acne.

4. Bad Habits

If you are actively trying to get rid of closed acne with no success, then some bad habits might be responsible for that. What are these? Let’s see.

What Bad Habits Can Contribute to Closed Acne?

here are top 12 habits that cause closed acne in our daily life.

1. Trying a new acne treatment weekly

One bad habit that can lead to closed acne is trying a new acne treatment every other week. Instead of trying out each new treatment, give time for a current treatment to work. If you don’t see improvements for up to 2 months, then you can change to another treatment.

2. Using Acne medication only on areas affected

Since your face is likely prone to acne breakouts, it is more sensible to apply acne medication over the skin instead of just the spot affected by acne.

3. Using products that can cause acne

Some products can easily irritate the skin and lead to an acne breakout. Some of these might include skin care products, makeup, hair products, and so on. You can stop it by using products that will not clog your pores and are labeled non-comedogenic.

4. Sharing Makeup and similar products

Even if you use the right products, you can set yourself up for an acne breakout if you share your brushes, applicators, and other stuff with others. While acne is not contagious, sharing these products with others can transfer their dead skin cells and other stuff to your skin, which can make it dirty and clogged, thus causing breakouts.

5. Sleeping in Makeup

While non-comedogenic products will not cause acne breakout, sleeping in them might cause this problem. Therefore, ensure that you remove your makeup before you sleep.

6. Washing too frequently

We have discussed this habit in the section above. If you wash your face ever so often, it can irritate the skin and increase the breakouts that you suffer. Washing your face twice daily with recommended products is enough to keep it clean.

7. Drying Out the Skin

Since an oily face can lead to acne breakout, you might be tempted to rid your face of oil. Scrubbing the face of oil can lead to more complications and exacerbate your acne. Instead of doing that, gently wash your face with a cleanser and rinse off with warm water.

8. Rubbing Sweat Away

This often happens when you are sweating. Cleaning sweat off your face roughly can cause irritation, which in turn can cause breakouts. If you are engaging in an activity that will cause sweat, it is advised that you use a soft cloth or towel to pat sweat gently from your face.

9. Popping Acne

Popping your acne is tempting, but when you do this, you will likely just push the dead skin cells, dirt, or bacteria deeper into the skin, thus causing inflammation. This can even lead to scarring and infections.

10. Smoking

Dermatologists have highlighted that closed acne is common in smokers. This is due to the damage to dermal elastic tissue.

11. Poor Diet

If you eat a high glycemic diet, chances are high that you will suffer from closed acne breakouts. Instead of such a diet, it is recommended that you eat foods like white rice, bread, and vegetables.

12. Stress

While hormones can cause an acne breakout, stress can cause surges in hormonal levels. Thus, you should try to manage your stress better. Some ways to do this include engaging in exercise and sleeping better.


A closed acne breakout is not a pretty scene. We have considered many reasons why this type of acne might appear. If you suffer from it, take a close look at the factors we have listed in this article like excessive oil secretion, bad habits, excessive cleaning, and using oily products. Look for which ones you might be guilty of and make the needed adjustments. By knowing what causes your problem, you can solve it more easily.

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