Does a buildup of bacteria cause acne?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

A buildup of bacteria can worsen acne by changing a whitehead or a blackhead into a pus-filled pimple. Acne occurs when oil produced by microscopic glands in the skin mixes with dead skin cells to clog pores, trapping bacteria inside. As bacteria multiply and the body's immune system fights back, pores can become red, swollen, and filled with pus. The result may be a few stray pimples or a widespread breakout.

Continue Learning about Acne

Avoiding Adult Acne
Avoiding Adult Acne
Won't they ever go away? As an adult, you expect pimples to be a thing of the past. But for many adults, blemishes continue to mar otherwise healthy s...
Read More
What is big-event acne?
Weddings and speeches can send stress soaring like nothing else. From your mother’s suggestions for ...
More Answers
6 Weird Facts About Acne
6 Weird Facts About Acne6 Weird Facts About Acne6 Weird Facts About Acne6 Weird Facts About Acne
Discover bizarre truths about acne and learn how to fight a bad breakout.
Start Slideshow
How Common Is Adult Acne?
How Common Is Adult Acne?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.