Comedonal acne: Pictures, Causes , Symptoms and Teatment

Acne is a problem that affects mainly adolescents, and causes more psychological impact on girls, however, depending on the severity in which it occurs, this could be a serious problem, affecting their self-esteem in boys and girls and your social life.

Although acne is mainly related to adolescence, adults can also suffer from it , and as there are several types of acne, I want to talk to you on this occasion about comedonic acne, because this type of acne can occur from adolescents to adult women and men and there are many factors that trigger it.

Hormonal factors are the first to contribute to the appearance of comedonic acne, and this is because androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands, likewise hyperkeratinization of the hair follicle, and secondary bacterial colonization and of course family history, also gives way comedonic acne.

Apart from these factors there are others that also influence and are: diet, stress, environmental pollution, climate, cosmetics and others . To learn more about comedonic acne, I invite you to read this article to the end.

What is comedonic acne?

Comedonic acne is one that presents little inflammation in the area of ​​the skin where the outbreak occurs, produces open comedones that are blackheads and closed comedones that are known as pimples , those yellowish or whitish elevations that generally appear on the face but They can also appear on other parts of the body such as the back and chest.

These outbreaks of comedonic acne or occur when the follicle of a sebaceous gland is blocked, this is due to different factors from age, because in the adolescent stage between 15 and 17 years of age, hormonal changes greatly affect the skin causing this comedonic acne.

We suggest reading this article on  hormonal acne

Comedonic acne, how is it detected? How to combat it?

Comedonic acne is easy to detect in young people regardless of their gender , however when it comes to comedonic acne in adults, a study should be done to investigate the person’s family history, their hormonal level and if they are in stressful moments.

In adult women, an outbreak of comedonic acne could be caused by the use of cosmetics that promote the appearance of blackheads and pimples, but in general the detection of comedonic acne occurs through its symptoms , which are different from cosmetic acne.

Comedonic acne can be treated or fought by regulating sebaceous secretion, reducing the bacterial population, and maintaining hygiene and good nutrition , that is, enjoying a good quality of life, trying as much as possible to avoid stressors.

Cleaning and hygiene treatments are done with special soaps that adapt to your skin type, and to combat acne, combined topical and oral treatments are usually prescribed, and depending on the severity of the comedonic acne, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobials.

Characteristics of the comedonic

Comedonic acne is mainly characterized by the presence of open and closed comedones on the face, punctiform papules are also seen but without an inflammatory reaction in the peri-oral area, it is a mild acne but without treatment it can become moderate or even worse, severe. the latter is the cause of those unpleasant scars in the facial area.

Another characteristic of comedonic acne is that in men, comedonic acne can easily go from grade one, that is, from being simple open or closed comedones, to grade 2 or 3, which is when pustular acne or nodules form and cysts that affect the skin leaving almost indelible marks.

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Causes of comedonic acne

Comedonic acne is caused by the hormonal processes that take place in puberty, at this stage androgen levels rise and these hormones are responsible for regulating sebaceous secretion. When the person has hereditary factors of overactive sebaceous glands this also corresponds to another cause of comedonic acne.

The emotional state, whether in adolescents or adults, is also a possible cause of the comedonic acne outbreak, whether stress, nerves, worry or anxiety affect almost all endocrine functions and this causes an increase or decrease in hormonal secretion.

Food is another cause of comedonic acne, this does not mean that any food contributes to this acne, but those that are rich in fat, if you eat fried foods, if you prefer processed foods, junk food, and soft drinks and sweets , all of this causes comedonic acne.

Among other causes, and this affects even more the female population after 30 years of age, is the use of cosmetics, aggressive soaps alter the composition of the skin’s protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable, and products as comedogenic make-up they promote the appearance of comedones.

Symptoms of comedonic acne

Once the hair follicles accumulate so much fat, dead cells and bacteria due to the obstruction, the following symptoms of comedonic acne begin to appear:

  • Appearance of open and closed comedones.
  • When the comedones are closed inwards, their appearance is different , they are slightly reddish and slightly inflamed.
  • Comedones multiply when not taking proper care of the skin.
  • They present pain in the affected area as well as
  • Some people have more serious symptoms such as: fever and discomfort and restlessness due to the severity of the comedonic acne they have.

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Comedonic acne pathologies

Comedonic acne is a pathology in itself, and serious consequences for people can derive from it when it changes from a mild state to severe, because it causes cysts or nodules that, if not treated with the appropriate medication, are take care

When comedonic acne is severe, the sebum and dead cells that are trapped within the clogged pore favor the proliferation of bacteria and that is where they become infected and become inflammatory nodules, this process causes a deep and extensive scar on the skin.

This is precisely the reason why comedonic acne has psychosocial and physical repercussions that end up depressing the person and aggravating this pathology, men tend to suffer more from cyst scars, because women from the first outbreak take action in the case.

Areas of the body where comedonic acne can appear

Comedonic acne appears on almost the entire face and part of the neck, also on the upper chest and back, in some it also appears on the shoulders and buttocks. Regardless of age, these are the most common places for comedonic acne to break out.

In adolescents it can appear in several parts at the same time, while adults tend to suffer breakouts, especially on the back and in the case of adult women, acne worsens with the use of cosmetics and that is why the skin is the most prone to have comedones.

In addition to this topic, you may also be interested  in Acne on the back, chest and shoulder: How to eliminate them, prevent them and causes

Comedonic acne levels

It is important to know the levels of comedonic acne as this will determine the treatment you can use, and also the cosmetic products that are most appropriate for your skin type.


In mild or grade I comedonic acne, only about ten comedones appear , there are no inflammations and the lesions are not usually papular or pustular, and if they appear, there are very few. Treatment for mild comedonic acne is the simplest and most gentle of all. It is usually controlled by a good cleaning with the right products.


When comedonic acne is moderate, there are more than ten comedones present , they do not present inflammation but it is known as grade II comedonic acne since many pustules and papules usually appear.

To treat this moderate comedonic acne, they usually recommend combined treatments, and depending on the type of skin, if it is oily, normal, dry or mixed, hygiene and cosmetic products should be appropriate for your specific skin type.


Severe comedonic acne is the cystic nodule , it is also known as grade III, and in it appear nodular and cystic lesions that despite strong treatment are difficult to heal, comedones are large inflammatory lesions, and leave deep scars that are not easy to cure. put off.

Severe comedonic acne must be diagnosed by the dermatologist and he is the one who should prescribe the treatment you need since these comedones are a bit more delicate because they have a high probability of becoming infected or spreading the infection and worsen quickly causing your skin to suffer serious consequences.

Can adult women suffer from comedonic acne?

As I have mentioned before, this comedonic acne is more common in adolescents, however adult women can also have outbreaks of this acne due to stress, or the makeup they use.

Comedonic acne in adult women is caused by psycho-emotional, hormonal and genetic factors, also by external causes such as the one mentioned above, the use of cosmetics that clog their pores.

Other causes of comedonic acne in adult women is smoking, female smokers have an increase in the production of sebum that becomes comedonic acne, as well as a diet high in harmful cholesterol, or medication with cortisone and exposure to the sun and polluting agents.

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Birth control and comedonic acne

Contraceptives influence comedonic acne as they cause a hormonal imbalance, and hormones involved in accelerating sebum production such as male sex hormones or androgens tend to increase when taking contraceptives.

This is the reason why some women and adolescents have comedonic acne when they start the contraceptive pill, because the hormonal imbalance causes the production of the sebaceous glands to increase and the pores become more easily occluded, giving way to the generally mild comedones.

Do adult men suffer from comedonic acne?

Comedonic acne can also affect adult men, in fact they tend to get worse and leave scars, this is because men naturally produce more male hormones than women and in addition to this, men generally refuse to use treatments for face.

Almost always the male population that suffers from this comedonic acne is because in their adolescence they had this problem of comedonic acne and in adulthood external factors and lifestyle tend to make these acne breakouts reappear .

Adult men usually have the breakouts on the face, neck, chest and upper back as they have hairs and each of these hairs has its follicle under the surface of the skin where the sebaceous gland produces sebum, and at the same time Being this excessive production is blocked and comedonic acne breaks out.

What causes adult men to overproduce sebum are hygiene, diet, emotional stress, drugs and medications, the use of caps and hats , and handling with dirty hands of comedones and of course the main cause which is the male hormone that triggers the overproduction of sebum.

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What is closed comedonic acne?

Closed comedonic acne is a punctate outbreak known as a white point, it occurs when the volume of the sebaceous gland duct increases due to the accumulation of sebum, without the possibility of spilling the content to the outside due to the blockage of the excretory duct, the wall of the follicle is weakened and ruptured, so it expands to neighboring tissues and becomes inflamed, becoming the closed comedo.

In adolescents, is comedonic acne normal?

It is in adolescence when hormonal levels increase and as a consequence, most young people in puberty have comedonic acne since this hormonal change stimulates the activity of the sebaceous glands and these produce a lot of sebum that ends up clogging the pores.

When you are a teenager, very few take care of your skin, and it is in this period of your life that you need to keep it cared and healthy the most. Adolescents do not know the true reason for comedonic acne and it is what I have been explaining throughout the article, a comedo is generated by excess oil, dead cells and bacteria as well as external substances that block the pore.

To avoid or try to appease this almost inevitable symptom of puberty it is necessary that you maintain hygiene, have clean hands before touching your face, use products for your skin type and stay clean and also calm because apart from hormones the Comedonic acne in teens can be caused by stress.

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During pregnancy you can have comedonic acne, why?

If in adolescence it is normal to have comedonic acne due to hormonal changes, this possibility of having it during pregnancy is high since the pregnant woman also goes through a hormonal change that can trigger breakouts of comedonic acne , this increase in hormones of pregnant women It can have a beneficial effect to fight acne or to make it worse, it will depend on each person.

The levels of androgen hormones now that you are expecting your baby stimulate the sebaceous glands and therefore there is an increase in the production of the fatty substance that originally is for your benefit because it allows you to have elastic and radiant skin, but that in Excess occludes pores and leads to comedones.

Babies have comedonic acne, why?

Babies in their first fifteen days of birth may present small white spots, tiny white pimples on their cheeks, nose and between eyebrows, but this disappears by itself with days, however when they are between six months of age and two years This appearance should be treated by a dermatologist who will give you the necessary recommendations to prevent this acne in adolescence.

You need to take it to a specialist because this outbreak of closed comedones in a baby may or may not be an allergic reaction or a rash , but such a rash could also be due to poor digestion.

Another reason why babies can have comedonic acne is because it is very likely that the mother has passed high amounts of male sex hormones to the baby through the umbilical cord and with birth the sebaceous glands fulfill their function and end up causing the baby to have a closed comedone reaction.

From three to six months of the little baby’s life, sebum production is reduced and therefore the appearance of comedones as well, only good hygiene must be maintained, and for them you should use mild soaps, after a few days the comedones they will have been cured.

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During lactation you have comedonic acne, why?

During breastfeeding you can have comedonic acne because the woman experiences physical and emotional wear and tear that affects her skin, it becomes dull and begins to present from dryness, eczema, allergies and spots on the skin , to tell the truth a mother She is happy for the birth of her baby but her skin does not support her, it makes her look very bad.

This is due to hormonal and vascular changes, while everything begins to return to normal, the woman who is breastfeeding must keep her skin hydrated both topically and by drinking plenty of fluids, but forget about coffee and alcohol that added to stress And late nights for the new baby could trigger an outbreak of comedones whether open or closed.

Menopause and comedonic acne

We have seen that in adolescence, pregnancy and lactation the cause of comedonic acne are the hormonal changes that they undergo at each stage of life, and another very important stage is menopause, here also hormones are the cause, but not only the hormones but also the despair of menopausal women due to the other symptoms.

The skin of a woman from the age of 40 or 50 begins to undergo very noticeable changes, it may turn out to be oily from normal skin , and from skin that did not have acne it may begin to have some mild outbreaks of comedones. on the jaw line and at the top of the neck.

Comedonic acne in menopause can also go from mild to severe because women at this stage tend to suffer from many stresses and worries, this causes a mild comedonic acne to become a deeper acne where the comedones stop to be pustules, even nodules if not treated in time and with the correct treatment.

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Stress can cause comedonic acne. How? Why?

Comedonic acne occurs in adults not so much because of the hormonal changes that we have been talking about, which occur at every important stage of a woman’s life, but because adults actually get extremely stressed.

When stress causes comedonic acne it is because the levels of cortisol and androgenic hormones rise , this increase causes the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum and as a consequence the pores are occluded and comedonic acne appears.

However, comedonic acne that appears after a stressful situation can disappear or be alleviated when you reduce stress and feel calmer, because sometimes the breakouts of this acne are only caused by stress although there are many other factors.

This is why the best way to eliminate comedonic acne caused by stress is by trying to lead a calm life , without worries, or excesses so that you can see how your emotional health and psychology improves and is reflected in your skin.

Menstruation and comedonic acne

Hormones, as has been said throughout the article, play an important role in the appearance of comedonic acne, and menstruation is no exception since during ovulation it produces large amounts of female hormones known as estradiol and after ovulation it increases. the hormone progesterone and also the male hormones.

This increase in hormones causes the sebaceous glands to increase their production level and causes the undesirable pimples known as comedonic acne to appear, and if you are a woman with an acne tendency it is much more likely that they will always break out as a premenstrual symptom .

More information on this topic with  Premenstrual Syndrome: Problems, Treatments and Symptoms

Hormonal acne vs comedonic acne

Hormonal acne typically affects adolescents , is also known as acne vulgaris, and is characterized by inflammatory lesions, pustules, and cysts or nodules that cover the face, neck, shoulders, and back.

The lesions caused by hormonal acne are very noticeable and even affect those who suffer from it in a psychological and social way since the outbreaks of hormonal acne get worse with the stress of the adolescent, this hormonal acne appears especially with the changes of puberty.

While comedonic acne is characterized by the appearance of open and closed comedones, that is, by the presence of black and white dots on the skin, especially on the face, however this appearance has no age limit , they may well appear in adolescence as well as adulthood.

Comedonic acne and hormonal acne are caused by the same factors , from stress to environmental pollution such as dust and dirt that clog pores, both types of acne can be caused internally by hormonal changes and diet or externally, such as the use of cosmetics that aggravate breakouts.

What to eat if you have comedonic acne

If you have comedonic acne, you have to know that diet can improve your condition or worsen it depending on what you eat, since there are foods that can contribute to the prevention and even improvement of comedonic acne.

You can consume carrots, pumpkins, mangoes and peaches, also green leaves such as chard and spinach, the properties of these foods help fight comedonic acne because they have beta-carotene components, vitamin A and antioxidants that help restore the internal skin and keep it healthy.

Likewise, vitamin C helps reduce skin inflammation and protects it against possible pathogens, so it is good to consume lemons, oranges, peppers, kiwis, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.

You can eat beef, pork, fish, and poultry but trying to avoid the fatty parts, it is good that you consume milk, yogurt, cheese but not in excess, also in small portions, breads and pasta, and what are sweets and fats try to avoid them.

See here The importance of Vitamin C for the Skin

Comedonic acne, does it have a cure? What is it?

If you suffer from comedonic acne you do not have to worry, there are many ways to avoid it and cure it, because it is not a permanent pathology, although it usually appears and disappears depending on all the factors that I mentioned before, there are many ways to have your skin a lot more acne-free time than with them.

The main thing is to always have good facial hygiene , wash your face and the areas where you are more prone to have comedones, you can wash it twice a day, and using the products that are appropriate for your skin type. When you dry, make sure the towel is clean, and do it gently to avoid irritation.

You can use tonics and astringents if your dermatologist recommends it, and the makeup must be hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, you can also use mud masks or natural products such as aloe, egg white, oatmeal, these help you hydrate your skin and keep it free of impurities.

Just as facial hygiene is of the utmost importance, so is hair hygiene since if you have dirty hair, the fat will run down your forehead and it will also clog your pores, it is not only about having your hair clean, but about using the appropriate shampoo and conditioner, because these products can also run down your face and cause comedonic acne.

It is also very important that you try to stay stress-free even more in your days, because the hormonal alteration will cause you comedonic acne and if you add stress to it you will have an outbreak in unwanted quantity, and for these days much more than in the others try to feed yourself well and exclude soft drinks and fried foods.

Another way to prevent comedonic acne from getting worse is not to squeeze it or touch it with dirty hands as it will increase bacteria and delay recovery, not to mention that you may have a more serious infection and give you cysts that leave strong scars.

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Medical treatments for comedonic acne

Comedonic acne can be controlled with medical treatments , depending on your case, you can have mild, moderate or severe comedonic acne and for each of them there is a different treatment.

Mild acne can be cured with simple products without a prescription, as long as you know what your skin type is, this comedonic acne can disappear just by having good hygiene and eating habits.

Moderate comedonic acne is cured with topical or oral treatments alone or in combination, while severe acne must be treated even with antibiotics, it is for this reason that it is important that you always consult your dermatologist and do not self-medicate.

Homeopathic treatment

Homeopathic treatment is the best option for people who suffer from comedonic acne, it is a therapeutic method that studies in depth the causes of the disease and contributes with the improvement of this and even more helps to restore the natural balance of the skin, its physical constitution and treats the factors that worsen comedonic breakouts.

It does not address the pathology of comedonic acne at a general level but at a particular level, the symptoms that you feel individually, as well as your family history, because knowing the family history is key to the cure of comedonic acne.

The homeopathic treatment has the advantage that they do not present contraindications or side effects, so they can be used by both adults and children and pregnant women, as well as by polymedicated patients.

Since acne can be the expression of multiple influencing factors, homeopathic treatment gives importance to each and every one of them because eliminating the pimple with creams is not enough , it is necessary to attack the internal, emotional and psychological symptoms so that the disease does not develop again.

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Natural Treatments to Relieve Comedonic Acne

To relieve comedonic acne, in addition to the above recommendations, you can also choose to use natural treatments , which will help you prevent it and also fight it. For example:

  • Honey is an excellent antimicrobial, you can apply a mask twice a week, you just have to apply a lemon juice and that’s it.
  • The sodium bicarbonate helps eliminate impurities, only a little mixture with water and wash your face.
  • Egg whites also help you remove impurities from your face, especially it helps you with those blackheads.
  • Brown sugar is another excellent natural comedonic acne treatment, used as an exfoliator.
  • Yogurt is also very good for treating comedonic acne, you can use masks by adding a little lemon and leaving it to act for an hour.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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