Acne | Disease Information
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More Information From the Centers of Disease Control


Nearly 17 million people in the United States have acne, making it the most common skin disease. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring, which can be upsetting to people who are affected by the disorder. Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones on the skin’s oil glands (sebaceous glands), which leads to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders.

Anyone Can Get Acne

People of all races and ages get acne. It is most common in adolescents and young adults. Nearly 85 percent of people between the ages of 12 and 24 develop the disorder. For most people, acne tends to go away by the time they reach their thirties; however, some people in their forties and fifties continue to have this skin problem.

The Development of Acne

Doctors describe acne as a disease of the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). Found over most of the body, PSUs consist of a sebaceous gland connected to a canal, called a follicle, that contains a fine hair (see “Normal Pilosebaceous Unit” diagram, below). These units are most numerous on the face, upper back, and chest. The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that normally empties onto the skin surface through the opening of the follicle, commonly called a pore. Cells called keratinocytes line the follicle.

Normal Pilosebaceous Unit
Diagram of a narmal pilosebaceous unit, showing location of: Hair, Skin surface, sebum, follicle, and sebaceous gland.

The hair, sebum, and keratinocytes that fill the narrow follicle may produce a plug, which is an early sign of acne. The plug prevents sebum from reaching the surface of the skin through a pore. The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) that normally live on the skin to grow in the plugged follicles. These bacteria produce chemicals and enzymes and attract white blood cells that cause inflammation. (Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of tissues to disease or injury and is marked by four signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain.) When the wall of the plugged follicle breaks down, it spills everything into the nearby skin–sebum, shed skin cells, and bacteria–leading to lesions or pimples.

People with acne frequently have a variety of lesions, some of which are shown in the diagrams below. The basic acne lesion, called the comedo (KOM-e-do), is simply an enlarged and plugged hair follicle. If the plugged follicle, or comedo, stays beneath the skin, it is called a closed comedo and produces a white bump called a whitehead. A comedo that reaches the surface of the skin and opens up is called a blackhead because it looks black on the skin’s surface. This black discoloration is not due to dirt. Both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in the skin for a long time.

Types of Lesions
Illustration of lesion, Microcomedo
Illustration of lesion, Open Comedo (Blackhead)
Illustration of lesion, Closed Comedo (Whitehead)

Other troublesome acne lesions can develop, including the following:

  • Papules –inflamed lesions that usually appear as small, pink bumps on the skin and can be tender to the touch
  • Pustules (pimples) –papules topped by pus-filled lesions that may be red at the base
  • Nodules –large, painful, solid lesions that are lodged deep within the skin
  • Cysts –deep, painful, pus-filled lesions that can cause scarring.

The Causes of Acne

The exact cause of acne is unknown, but doctors believe it results from several related factors. One important factor is an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones). These increase in both boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills can also cause acne.

Another factor is heredity or genetics. Researchers believe that the tendency to develop acne can be inherited from parents. For example, studies have shown that many school-age boys with acne have a family history of the disorder. Certain medicines, including androgens and lithium, are known to cause acne. Greasy cosmetics may alter the cells of the follicles and make them stick together, producing a plug.

Factors That Can Make Acne Worse

Factors that can cause an acne flare include:

  • Changing hormone levels in adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period starts
  • Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin
  • Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars
  • Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity
  • Squeezing or picking at blemishes
  • Hard scrubbing of the skin.

Myths About the Causes of Acne

There are many myths about what causes acne. Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed, but foods seem to have little effect on the development and course of acne in most people. Another common myth is that dirty skin causes acne; however, blackheads and other acne lesions are not caused by dirt. Finally, stress does not cause acne.

How to Care For Your Skin

Be Careful With Cosmetics

People being treated for acne often need to change some of the cosmetics they use. All cosmetics, such as foundation, blush, eye shadow, and moisturizers, should be oil free. Patients may find it difficult to apply foundation evenly during the first few weeks of treatment because the skin may be red or scaly, particularly with the use of topical tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide. Oily hair products may eventually spread over the forehead, causing closed comedones. Products that are labeled as noncomedogenic (do not promote the formation of closed pores) should be used; in some people, however, even these products may cause acne.

Avoid Violent Handling of the Skin

People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their blemishes risk developing scars or dark blotches. People should avoid rubbing and touching their skin lesions.

Men who shave and who have acne can test both electric and safety razors to see which is more comfortable. Men who use a safety razor should use a sharp blade and soften their beard thoroughly with soap and water before applying shaving cream. Nicking blemishes can be avoided by shaving lightly and only when necessary.

Avoid Sunburning

Many of the medicines used to treat acne can make a person more prone to sunburn. A sunburn that reddens the skin or suntan that darkens the skin may make blemishes less visible and make the skin feel drier. However, these benefits are only temporary, and there are known risks of excessive sun exposure, such as more rapid skin aging and a risk of developing skin cancer.

Gently Clean Skin

Most doctors recommend that people with acne gently wash their skin with a mild cleanser, once in the morning and once in the evening and after heavy exercise. Some people with acne may try to stop outbreaks and oil production by scrubbing their skin and using strong detergent soaps and rough scrub pads. However, scrubbing will not improve acne; in fact, it can make the problem worse. Patients should ask their doctor or another health professional for advice on the best type of cleanser to use. Patients should wash their face from under the jaw to the hairline. It is important that patients thoroughly rinse their skin after washing it. Astringents are not recommended unless the skin is very oily, and then they should be used only on oily spots. Doctors also recommend that patients regularly shampoo their hair. Those with oily hair may want to shampoo it every day.

If you suffer from Acne you may want to take a look at our new Colloidal Silver Aloe Soap,it also contains regenerative qualities of Plant Derived Minerals and the healing properties of Aloe Vera.

Opinion 1 
I saw a young man on our campground that had Acne real bad but no scarring. He started taking colloidal silver and spraying it on his face and within a week, all the eruptions were gone. He was so pleased; he started smiling all the time and started looking for girls.

Opinion 2
Dear Sirs,
I started taking colloidal silver for sinus infection and in a few weeks it was almost completely gone. Also, the Acne I had on my back and face was going away as well. I did not even think of that! This is great stuff.


Opinion 3
I have been using colloidal silver for 2 years now. It’s great!! My family and friends have “cured” so many things, Including ACNE. I have gotten about 80 people to use it too……..
Cal ferguson

Opinion 4
Hi ,

……..Also, I use CS for other things like cleaning my new nose piercing and sporadic ACNE problems.
Thank you for putting this wonder product out there!
Best Regards,
Dalia (NYC)

Opinion 5
Dear Utopia Silver

My 17-year-old son has suffered with acne for 2 years. He has been on many costly prescription medicines for lengthy intervals. Nothing has helped. The dermatologists suggested he go on isotretinoin as a last result. After reading the terrible side effects from isotretinoin my son and I agreed it was not worth the risk.

I had heard very little about colloidal silver but somehow stumbled upon your website. I read your info and figured it was worth a try since nothing else had worked and the side effects and cost were nil compared to isotretinoin. I am happy to report that after 1 month on your product (1 TSP. orally and 2X topically a day) my son’s skin is almost perfect. He doesn’t have any new breakouts and his skin is healing beautifully. Not only that, but he escaped the flu that many of his friends have suffered from! Thank You so much!!

Forever grateful,
Mrs. Stavros

Opinion 6
Dear ,

I had a coworker who was plagued by adult acne, had tried everything, and had made an appointment with a dermatologist to ask to go on acutane. I told her about the side effects and told her to let me bring her a spray bottle of CS that I always keep on hand. I asked her to give it a two-week trial before she went to the doctor. I also told her how my daughter, who was in a state beauty pageant had broken out in a horrible case of acne all over her face just a week and a half before the pageant and used CS. Her skin was clear for the pageant and she came in first runner-up and got a nice scholarship. I told my co-worker to take two teaspoons twice a day orally and spray it on her face directly after washing her face. Her Dr. appointment was scheduled for after the two-week period, so she said she would try my method. At the end of that time, her skin was clear and she cancelled the appointment! She uses CS faithfully now and looks beautiful.

Joan Goble,
Salt Lake City

Opinion 7

Okay, now for the testimonial. I have had “adult-onset” acne since my 20’s (face, neck, chest & back). I went through everything – antibiotics, ointments and gels, isotretinoin (several times), but nothing would make it stay away for good. I became known as the “turtleneck queen” because I tried to hide my acne neck under turtlenecks (all year round – they do have short sleeves for summer). BUT after spraying the CS on my face and body for about a month, I started to notice that the acne gradually was going away and wasn’t coming back!!! Wow, it was a miracle for me! After using it for 2 years now, I just take it for granted. I can wear all kinds of tops now because I have no acne to hide anymore. My dermatologist noticed it as well. I told him what I had been doing with the CS and he was amazed. He wants me to get some for him to try on some of his patients. So, I’m going to place an order and give several bottles to him.

Thanks so much for your CS. At least acne is one thing I no longer have to worry about.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Carol Jones

Opinion 8

Just to let you know of our success with your product. I ordered the silver generator for the whole family but especially for my 13-year-old daughter who has an acne problem. For over a year we have battled this acne trying months of dermatologist treatment with no results. Even the dermatologist seemed defeated with the results. We ordered Pro-active acne treatment from the TV infomercial and had some improvement but not nearly enough. I had her spray her face with the colloidal silver once a day and rub it in somewhat. After three days her face had a dramatic improvement noticed by other people as well. It has been about three weeks and the great improvement has lasted.

Jill Bradbury

Opinion 9

Dear ,

The big difference that I noticed is that I have adult acne on my back and the MD had prescribed an antibiotic ointment that wasn’t helping, in fact, it was irritating my skin. I have noticed that my back is completely clear since I have been taking CS. I now believe that there is definitely something to CS.


Opinion 10

Friends, I would be interested in selling [your]CS. I started taking it 1 month ago. I stumbled across it, had never heard of it, when I was trying to diagnose myself. Long story but I have had Staph Aureus for years, tonsils out 2 years ago (Im 34 yr.old woman), acne, you name it. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on shots, antibiotics, Accutane, everything and nothing has helped. I discovered it when I figured out I had Cellulitus caused from Staph. In 20 min. after putting CS under my tongue and directly on my furuncle/carbuncle…I felt it bubble and dead skin and dead whatever was falling out of my neck onto my black sweater as I was drivng!!! I started crying sooo EXCITED! In 2 days 2DAYS!!! My acne and cellulitus was almost gone! It has helped my scars from years before! I have 6 people on it at work because they can’t believe how good I look and they are believers! Is it possible to sell this for you or someone? They all say I should be a salesman for it because i am soooo passionate and dedicated and persistant about them trying it! I just can’t believe my ACNE IS GONE! It has changed my life! Thank you for the newsletter! Sincerely, a thankful friend!

Lauren Addison

Opinion 11

Name: Stephanie Terrell

Not only does colloidal silver work with sinus infections, it also helps those with terrible acne. My stepbrother who had been to the dermatologist for years and had taken medication that had
only partially worked started taking colloidal silver and his acne improved. He took about a teaspoon each day.
[At first, it helps to apply topically as well]

Opinion 12   Today is 201 days off of tetracycline. Some of the inquiries state that with acne rosecea, they can expect to be on antibiotics the rest of their lives and if it were not for you and your dear wife I would still be on it . May God bless you and the work you are doing.

My wife and I send you our deepest respects. Robert and Lillian Weaver

Opinion 13 Hi –

Reading in the weekly CS newsletter, I recently read of an acne cure. I say CURE, because I believe that is just what it was, a CURE!

Opinion 14 My fifteen year old son has had an acne problem and I had him apply the silver topically to his face and it started drying up in two days.
Thank you so much for putting this information out there.
Carol, NY

Opinion 15 I suffer from severe adult acne, I started spraying the Colloidal Silver on my face at least twice a day, and wouldn’t you know it I am completely blemish free!   I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t found your website and had gone yet another year without Colloidal Silver. It’s God Sent!


Opinion 16 My acne has improved tremendously.


Opinion 17 Hello!
It has only been 2 weeks since I have started trying the colloidasilver. I have seen some impressive results on my 14 year old son’s acne.

Opinion 18

I am 48 and still had problems with acne. I read that cs helped. I did research and couldn’t find an exact amount to use. I made up my own. It was too strong and dried out my skin, but the acne disappeared. My second batch I am keeping my acne cleared with only a teaspoon of cs with two teaspoons of mineral water in a spray bottle. It is wonderful. Both my children are using it with good results.


Opinion 19

I have a friend here from Germany and she would like to get some[CS] to take back with her.  Her daughter had chronic acne on her face, back, arms and chest. She has been going to a dermatologist for over 2 years and they had her on antibiotics this whole time and it didn’t see to help. I sprayed colloidal silver on her skin and within a day, the huge white areas of infection were no longer there. It was no longer swollen, but the skin still discolored. But within less than a week her skin looked great. She hasn’t been using it for a few days and she has some of it coming back under her nose. I need to get some more CS for her.


Opinion 20

Thanks again…
I’ll be wearing a bikini in Mexico, because I’m no longer ashamed of my appearance because of acne, thanks to colloidal silver!!

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