Top 7 nguyên nhân gây mụn phổ biến và những điều cần lưu ý


Life is getting more stressful, and the need for beauty is becoming increasingly important. To maintain smooth and flawless skin, women are constantly sharing skincare secrets. Below are the top 7 common causes of acne and important considerations when caring for your skin.


What is Acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that appears on the face, back, chest, neck, chin, buttocks, and shoulders with various symptoms such as redness, pus-filled bumps, itching, and pain. The main causes of acne are hormonal activity and external factors such as bacterial infection and clogged pores. Depending on the symptoms, acne is categorized into different types: common acne, red acne, hidden acne, nodular acne, comedones, pustules, and inflammatory acne.

Common Causes of Acne

The four main causes of acne are excessive sebum production, clogged pores due to oil and dead skin cells, bacterial infection, and improper skincare or overuse of cosmetics. The severity of acne can be worsened by the following reasons:

  • Infection: P. acnes bacteria is the main cause of common acne, while Demodex mites are the main cause of red acne.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations during puberty and middle age, especially in premenopausal women, lead to enlarged sebaceous glands and increased sebum production. Excessive sebum production, coupled with improper skincare, can result in acne breakouts.
  • Medications: Medications containing corticosteroids, testosterone, lithium, etc., can also cause acne.
  • Diet: Consuming high-carbohydrate foods such as sweets, fried potatoes, cakes, etc., can worsen acne symptoms.
  • Stress: While stress doesn’t directly cause acne, it can exacerbate existing acne conditions.
  • Improper skincare: Inadequate cleansing of the skin creates favorable conditions for acne-causing bacteria to thrive, and weakened skin is prone to acne.
  • Overuse of cosmetics: Cosmetics help protect and moisturize the skin, but using low-quality or unsuitable products for prolonged periods can irritate the skin, clog pores, and lead to acne.

Image: P. acnes bacteria is the main cause of common acne.

Symptoms and Types of Acne

Acne comes in various forms with different symptoms. Based on the causes and symptoms, acne is categorized into several types, including:

  • Common acne: Whiteheads if the pores are closed, blackheads if the pores are open. Common acne causes redness, pus-filled bumps, painful cysts, and inflammation beneath the skin.
  • Hidden acne: Develops deep inside the hair follicles, appearing as small, painless, and non-inflammatory bumps.
  • Blackheads: Easily identifiable due to their dark appearance on the skin’s surface. They are slightly raised, painless, and non-inflammatory.
  • Nodular acne: Characterized by swollen, red, and hard bumps with yellow or white pus-filled centers. They can be painful, prone to bursting, and leave long-lasting dark spots.
  • Red acne: Reddish acne, usually around the nose and mouth, causing pain and itching.

Image: Common symptoms of different types of acne.

Classifications of Acne

Acne is classified into different types based on the cause:

1. Common Acne (Whiteheads)

Common acne is a common inflammatory skin condition that can affect people of all ages. The main cause of common acne is excessive sebum production, leading to the accumulation of bacteria, clogged pores, inflammation, and infection. Common acne can be uncomfortable and affect one’s self-esteem.

2. Hidden Acne

Hidden acne develops deep inside the hair follicles and does not cause inflammation or pain. It is characterized by small, clustered bumps that make the skin feel rough. Hidden acne is difficult to detect by appearance alone but can be felt by touching the skin.

3. Nodular Acne

Nodular acne forms beneath the skin and differs from whiteheads and blackheads. Some nodules develop from small cysts in the sebaceous glands and form large, inflamed, painful bumps that may cause facial deformities. Nodular acne commonly appears on the face, back, or chest.

4. Comedones (Blackheads)

Comedones are small bumps that appear on top of common acne. They occur when the hair follicles are open (blackheads) or closed (whiteheads). Blackheads are a mild form of acne that can appear on the face, back, chest, neck, arms, and shoulders.

5. Pustules

Pustules are inflamed acne lesions that form red, swollen bumps on the surface of the skin. They contain yellow or white pus (sebum, dead skin cells, bacteria). Pustules can appear in various areas of the face, such as the chin, nose, cheeks, forehead, jawline, underarms, and groin. The location of pustules indicates specific health issues. Improper handling may cause complications.

Nodular Acne
Image: Nodular acne is prone to bacterial infections, causing inflammation and swelling.

Risks and Complications of Acne

Acne-related complications are mostly related to aesthetics, such as scarring or long-lasting dark spots. If left untreated, acne can spread to adjacent areas and become chronic, causing discomfort for the patient. Squeezing acne and poor hygiene can lead to skin infections. In particular, facial infections can cause swelling, distortion, and, in severe cases, may lead to inflammation of the sinus veins in the brain, resulting in unconsciousness or even death. Red acne can result in a condition known as “tomato nose” or nasal telangiectasia.

When to See a Doctor

You should consult a dermatologist if you experience persistent acne despite skincare remedies. For many women, common acne can persist and worsen one week before menstruation. In older individuals, severe common acne may indicate an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. Some acne treatments, facial cleansers, and cosmetics can cause severe reactions. If you experience symptoms such as redness, irritation, itching, fainting, difficulty breathing, swollen eyes, face, lips, or tongue, or a stiff throat, seek immediate medical attention.


If you suspect acne, seek immediate dermatological examination to determine the type and severity of the condition. Additional tests may be required to identify the exact cause of acne breakout.

Image: Proper skincare is one of the first steps towards healthy and youthful skin.

Treatment Options

Acne has various types, and each requires different treatment methods. Here are some commonly used and effective therapies:

1. Mild Acne

  • Over-the-counter creams, face cleansers, and non-prescription treatments can be used to treat mild acne breakouts. These treatments contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide to dry out acne and kill bacteria, and salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores.
  • If acne persists despite home remedies, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist for a suitable treatment plan. Prescription creams and antibiotics may be prescribed, and the doctor will also provide guidance on proper skincare and recommend suitable products.

2. Severe Acne

For severe acne, the dermatologist may recommend the following procedures:

  • Photodynamic Therapy (PDT): This treatment uses special medications and light or laser therapy to reduce sebum production and kill bacteria.

  • Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy: This treatment uses intense light pulses to target and destroy P. acnes and Demodex mites.

  • Laser therapy: Various types of lasers can improve redness in red acne and acne scarring. The choice of laser treatment varies depending on the specific skin condition.

  • Dermabrasion: This procedure removes the top layer of skin and upper layers of acne to reveal the healthier skin underneath. Dermabrasion is less commonly used nowadays.

  • Bio-revitalizing: This treatment removes the top layer of skin to expose less damaged skin below, improving scarring and acne. Skin peels and microneedling with PRP (platelet-rich plasma) can stimulate cell regeneration.

  • Cortisone injections: Administered directly into the acne lesions to reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process. Cortisone is commonly used to treat nodular and cystic acne.

Lifestyle Changes and Prevention

To reduce the risk of acne, consider the following measures:

  • Wash your face daily with an oil-free face wash.
  • Use non-comedogenic acne treatment products to remove excess oil from the skin.
  • Opt for water-based cosmetics that are less likely to clog pores.
  • Avoid skincare and cosmetic products containing oil.
  • Always remove makeup and cleanse the skin before sleep.
  • Bathe or wash your face after sweating heavily or exercising.
  • Keep your hair neat and avoid letting it come into contact with your face.
  • Avoid wearing tight hats or headbands.
  • Eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Reduce the consumption of high-energy foods.
  • Manage stress levels and find ways to relax.

To reduce the risk of acne, address the common causes of acne. Hormonal acne is generally more challenging to treat than common acne. Therefore, in addition to proper skincare, a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential in reducing the risk of acne breakouts.

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