I have spots and blackheads on my face, but sometimes I experience itching along with pimples on my face. Why?

Q. How can someone overcome spots, blackheads, sudden itching, and pimples on the face?

Answered by
Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 17, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am a 21-year-old with spots and small blackheads on my face. I do not know if I have oily or dry skin. Sometimes I get sudden itching on my face and the pimples start to come out. I had a history of sneezing earlier.

Kindly help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for your query.

Treatment of acne depends on the grade of acne. Please attach your clinical pictures so that I can decide the grade of acne and suggest medicine accordingly.

Let me give you some information regarding acne.

  1. Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, pilo-hair, or sebaceous-oil-producing gland. These pilosebaceous glands are densely distributed over the face, neck, chest, back, shoulder, and arms. It also has a genetic component which means that the appearance and severity of acne depend on the genes from parents.
  2. The sebaceous gland produces oil that is expelled out through the duct which opens on the skin's surface.
  3. As long as this duct is intact, oil flows freely out onto the skin. If there is any blockage in the duct, the oil cannot come out, then it starts irritating the surrounding skin and causes blackheads and whiteheads (comedones).
  4. Our skin has a commensal harmless bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P.acnes). This bacteria act on the oil collected inside and causes inflammation leading to red bumps, pustules, cysts, or nodules as it progresses. If acne is not treated on time, it will leave scars.
  5. Hormones have a strong effect on acne. Increased androgen hormone can cause thickening of the wall of the duct, leading to its blockage causing comedones. PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease) or PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is the most frequent hormonal disease causing acne in teenagers as well as adult women.
  6. Environmental, external, or emotional factors can also cause acne. Hot and humid climates cause increased sweat and can clog the pores. The application of oil, oil-based cosmetics, or steroid creams is another cause of acne. Psychological stress is one of the important factors in acne.

I suggest you follow a few general acne skin care tips mentioned below.

  1. Facewash: Wash your face with mild cleansers if your face is dry or use benzoyl peroxide face wash if your face is oily. Wash your face three times a day to remove excess oil and dust which accumulates over time on the face.
  2. Sunscreen: Use good sunscreen with SPF 50. Apply sunscreen on your whole face 30 minutes before you step out irrespective of the presence of sunlight. UV rays will always be there during day hours. Apply every four hours for maximum benefits. This is because sunscreen can protect your skin from UV rays for four hours. Hence you need to repeat it every four hours. Always use non-comedogenic sunscreen.
  3. Do not pick or squeeze your acne: It will leave dark pigmentation and scars, which are even more difficult to treat.
  4. Regular physical exercise: It is very essential to keep hormones under check. Exercise for at least 40 minutes a day and six days a week.
  5. No oil massage: Avoid oil massage on the scalp as it will aggravate dandruff. If there is oil flow on the facial skin, it can clog the pores leading to comedones.
  6. Vitamin A and water: Eat vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables like papaya, mango, musk melon, pumpkin, carrot, and beetroot. These have beta-carotene in them which is a good antioxidant that is very helpful for healthy skin. Drink two to three liters of water per day as this keeps the skin hydrated.
  7. Cosmetics: Always use water-based cosmetics, which have a non-comedogenic label on them.
  8. Stress management: Both physical and mental stress cause acne breakouts. Meditation helps control mental stress.
  9. No waxing of hairs on the face: Waxing irritates hair follicles and can aggravate pimples. However, threading to remove unwanted facial hair is fine as threading does not affect acne.
  10. Never use steroid creams: Steroid causes very bad acne, it makes the skin very thin and sensitive. Avoid over-the-counter steroid creams like Betnovate, Panderm, etc.

I hope this has helped you.

Thank you.

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