Health & Wellness

Does dirty skin give you acne?

You may think acne is due to dirty skin and lack of cleanliness.

Actually, pimples don’t start on the surface of the skin. They build up underneath where the hair follicles are. Pimples are the visible result of inflammation in the hair follicle, clogged by too much of the pore-blocking oil called sebum. As skin cells lining the pore get sticky from the extra oil, bacteria feasts on the oil, begins to overgrow and, boom, you’ve got a zit. It can happen on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin problem in the U.S. and about 50 percent of adults deal with it to some degree.

If you’re trying to get rid of acne by overwashing your skin, you may aggravate it in some cases.

There are persistent myths about what causes acne breakout and how to treat it. To learn more, watch the above video with NBC medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar.

Related: The biggest skin-care dilemmas women face in their 30s and how to fix them

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