Acne is the single most common skin condition in the United States, affecting between 40 and 50 million Americans.

Condition and Causes

In normal skin, dead cells rise to the surface of our skin (pores) and our bodies shed them. Acne occurs when pores in our skin become clogged with dead skin cells and sebum (oil that keeps our skin from drying out) that become “trapped” and are unable to shed as they are intended to. Sometimes, bacteria that live on our skin also become stuck inside these clogged pores. Once inside the pore, this bacteria, P. acnes, is able to multiply and replicate quickly, leading to inflammation (redness and swelling) and pimples. These blemishes can occur almost anywhere on the body. However, they are most commonly found on the face, neck, chest, and back.

Breakouts are often associated with hormonal changes, such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Other contributing factors can include pore-clogging moisturizers and make-up, genetics, and stress.

The impact of diet on the course of acne has long been controversial. But recent studies show that it can no longer be overlooked. Dairy products and foods with high glycemic indices (foods that our bodies rapidly convert to sugar) both have increasingly convincing links with acne.

Most people who have acne are teenagers or young adults, but the condition can occur at any age. Newborn babies and adults who never suffered from acne as teenagers can both develop pimples.


Today there are a wide variety of treatment options to help control breakouts, including topical medications (treatment that you apply directly to your skin), oral pills (antibiotics, hormone modulators, isotretinoin), and procedural therapies (laser treatment, chemical peels, extractions).

Certain treatments that work wonders for some patients may not perform as well for others. Meeting with a dermatologist for a thorough skin examination and discussion about your personal struggle with acne is essential to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan for you.

Waiting for acne to “run its course” or clear on its own can be frustrating, and can potentially lead to consequences that could otherwise be prevented, like permanent scarring, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

At Central Texas Dermatology, we are passionate about helping our patients. We want to help you achieve clear skin and boost the self-confidence that accompanies it. Whether you’re dealing with existing acne or simply wish to prevent future breakouts, we’re here to help! Contact us to discuss what we can do for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pimples are the result of dead skin cells mixing with excess oil (sebum) and clogging your pores. When a pore is blocked, swelling (inflammation) develops, and sometimes, bacteria growing within the pore causes an infection, resulting in a red bump (a typical pimple).

Hormone fluctuation is the most common factor in the development of acne. Teenagers going through puberty experience significant hormonal shifts – especially of testosterone – which causes oil glands to enlarge and produce more sebum. This results in oily skin and acne breakouts.

Though hormone shifts are most dominant in teenage years, fluctuations can occur at any age. Women are especially susceptible to these changes during menstrual periods, pregnancy and menopause. Other factors that may trigger or aggravate acne in adult years include certain medications, stress, dietary choices and genetics.

It’s certainly important to practice good daily facial hygiene by cleansing twice daily (morning and evening), but if you still have acne, that doesn’t mean your skin isn’t clean. Sometimes, skin can even become aggravated from being washed too aggressively, or from the use of products containing known irritants like alcohol. Even with an appropriate daily skincare routine, other factors including hormones and stress are still able to trigger acne.

For many years, food as a trigger for acne was considered a myth. Only recently have studies emerged indicating a link between certain dietary choices and acne breakouts. The research suggests that acne flare-ups can be associated with a diet rich in dairy products as well as foods with a high-glycemic index (often processed carbohydrates and other sugar-laden foods).

If your skin is not responding to over-the-counter products, it’s best to make an appointment with a dermatologist. Our clinical staff at Central Texas Dermatology work together to ensure you get the best treatment from the appropriate prescription medications to effective cosmetic procedures.

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Can’t imagine a better dermatology experience from acne cures to painless and fast mole removals. One visit and a follow up call 4 weeks later was enough for Dr. Trizna to know exactly how to cure my cystic acne and blackhead/clogged pore issues. Sent a couple friends for the same issues who got the same great results as myself. Have now gone back years later for a mole removal that happened same day i scheduled to get it looked at. Almost passed out before the quick and painless procedure but they were extremely professional in identifying that and making me comfortable and giving me all the time i needed to feel ready before moving forward. Pricing for self pay has also been very fair for the 5 star service i have received every time.

– Lane Myers

I had a great experience at Central Texas Dermatology. Kim at the front desk was helpful and welcoming and my appointment was quick but thorough and I was pleased that Dr. Halliday answered all my questions and was honest that solving my problems might not be a one stop shop solution (although, I think it has been). Very happy I made it in to see them after years of dealing with acne of varying degrees of severity.

– Alison Skyles

Emily and her team are amazing. She maintains only the highest standards in treating patients and providing services. They are efficient, kind and filled with knowledge whether dealing with acne, treating skin cancer or reducing sun spots. LOVE THEM.

– Terri Michael

Congratulations to Dr. Trizna on his upcoming retirement July 19!