Subclinical acne, also known as comedonal acne, is those tiny bumps that can appear in different areas of the face. It most commonly appears on the forehead, but it can also show up on other parts of the skin. In this post, we are sharing information to help you know more about this kind of acne and how to treat it.
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We are not doctors or related to any medical institution. We do not partake in any particular opinion. It is recommended that you get in touch with a licensed dermatologist if you have a serious skin condition, and to effectively treat subclinical acne.
Short Introduction to Subclinical Acne
Subclinical acne is a stage of acne that has yet to become full-blown. It is considered a precursor to regular acne. This kind of acne commonly appears on the forehead. The small bumps blend in with the skin and can look like mild nodules.
According to Michele Green, M.D. of RealSelf, “Subclinical acne is superficial acne that is just below the skin. Also known as comedonal acne, it’s caused by hormones, genetics, and clogged pores from dead skin, dirt, and bacteria.”
What Causes Subclinical Acne?
Scientists are not certain about how stress can cause acne to get worse but there is a reason to believe that it can contribute to the acne. A study that is published by the Journal Dermato-Endocrinology in 2017 suggests that sebocytes or the oil-producing cells contain stress receptors for hormones. This can increase the production of sebum when you are feeling stressed.
Another cause of subclinical acne is poor hygiene. Failure to clean your face in the morning or at night especially if you wear makeup can lead to subclinical acne. It is important to keep the face clean and moisturized to avoid acne breakout.
Skin Care Products
Using the wrong skin products can worsen the bumps and acne on your face. You need to be careful in using skincare products especially if you have sensitive skin. Sunscreen is considered as one of the products that clog pores. You can use a moisturizer with SPF to protect your skin from the sun.
When it comes to treating acne, you also need to consider your diet. Processed foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar can boost insulin levels in the body. This can lead to a sudden acne breakout. Moreover, milk and dairy products can also result in subclinical acne.
How to Get Rid of Subclinical Acne
Take note that when it comes to getting rid of subclinical acne, it is vital to treat it right and to use the right products. Make it a habit to wash your face to avoid exposure to too much sunlight. According to Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D., the medical director of Mudgil Dermatology, “A good hygiene regimen is key” He says that washing the face at least twice a day with the use of a mild cleanser that is non-comedogenic can get rid of subclinical acne.
“At-home treatment for the earliest of clogged pores may include salicylic acid or beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), which can provide exfoliation while also helping to prevent and treat blocked pores,” says David Lortscher, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Curology. He adds that “The best treatment for comedones, whether or not they’re visible, is a retinoid. Tretinoin, a prescription retinoid, is the active ingredient in acne topicals such as Retin-A. These decrease the formation of microcomedones (or early blocked pores) by normalizing the life cycle of the cells that line the pore opening.”
The lesser the dead skin cells that are blocking your pores, the less build-up there will be. This leads to clear skin and less subclinical acne. On the other hand, you can also avoid potential side effects that come from harsh products by using home remedies. A healthy diet and drinking enough water can lead to clear skin. You can also make use of facial masks to achieve clear looking skin.
How to Clear Subclinical Acne on Forehead
Subclinical acne on the forehead is caused by an oil called sebum that normally lubricates and protects the skin. There are times when the pores get clogged with dirt, dead skin cells and excess oil. Bacteria grow inside and create swollen bumps.
To treat subclinical acne on forehead, you need to have a good skincare routine. Wash your face twice a day using gentle facial products. This will remove excess oil from the skin. You can also use over the counter treatments that contain ingredients like salicylic acid.
You can use natural remedies like aloe vera, green tea extract and tea tree oil that are rich in anti-oxidants. If natural remedies fail, you can use prescription-strength acne treatments. Do not pop the acne on your forehead because it can cause irritation and can lead to infection and scarring.
✅ Video Demo
Here is a video that Anncy has shared. She talks about how she was able to get rid of the tiny bumps on her forehead. To find out how she did this and what treatment and products she has used, you can watch the video below.
Is Salicylic Acid Good for Subclinical Acne?
Salicylic acid is a type of beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). It is lipophilic which means that it can be dissolved in oil and penetrate into the pores. The salicylic acid helps in treating acne by exfoliating the skin, getting rid of dead skin cells that clog pores. It can be purchased over the counter in 0.5%-2% concentrations.
According to Dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D “The cells in the lining of the hair follicles of people with acne tend to multiply quickly and stick to one another. Salicylic acid works by dissolving this cement that holds those sticky cells together in the clogged pores.”
Salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory, keratolytic which means that it helps exfoliate dead skin cells, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. It penetrates pores to loosen clogged follicles by breaking apart dead skin cells, softening them, and helping them slough off the skin.
It works best on blackheads and whiteheads but it also provides some benefits in treating cystic acne. Cystic acne is often caused by internal sources like hormones and genes so topical treatments are not always enough to treat this condition.
Can Benzoyl Peroxide Get Rid of Subclinical Acne?
Benzoyl peroxide is the first product that many people use when it comes to treating any kind of acne. It is effective in clearing acne by minimizing acne-causing bacteria and cleaning the pores to get rid of dead skin cells and excess oils. It is found in many over-the-counter products and is also considered as an effective acne treatment ingredient.
This substance is known as an effective bacteria-reducer and is ideal if your acne is inflamed and red. Also if you have whiteheads and zits, benzoyl peroxide is a great treatment. It treats and prevents subclinical acne by killing deep-seated bacteria and helps the pores exfoliate dead skin cells and excess oil.
Possible side effects include peeling and dryness. Dry skin is the common side effect of Benzoyl peroxide that a lot of users have experienced. It can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun so it is recommended that you wear sunscreen.
Tea Tree Oil for Subclinical Acne
Tea tree oil is made from the leaves of tea tree which is common in Australia. It has been used by Aboriginal Australians as a traditional medicine for many centuries. But can it treat subclinical acne?
In 2006, studies show that tea tree oil has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help in treating inflammatory acne lesions like pimples.
In 2016, a study was made using a combination of tea tree oil and resveratrol to protect the skin from sun damage. The result shows that most participants have fewer bacteria and oil on their skin. They also have smaller pores which can improve acne condition.
In 2017, a study was made and participants were told to apply tea tree oil on their face every day for 12 weeks. As a result, the study concluded that tea tree oil can improve mild to moderate acne without experiencing serious side effects.
Hence, tea tree oil can help improve the condition of subclinical acne but there is no guarantee that it will cure and totally eliminate the skin problem.
✅ Video Info
Below is a video that talks about the uses of tea tree oil for acne. Find out about the benefits that it can provide by watching the video below.
Does Subclinical Acne Go Away?
Subclinical acne is most often tied to your lifestyle, stress, and/or hormonal changes. So, does it go away? Yes, subclinical acne can be treated. These types of acne are caused by clogged pores so one of the best ways to improve your skin condition would be to upgrade your cleansing technique.
If you wash your face with just water, there’s still oil, makeup, and dirt clogging your pores. To remove such impurities, you need to use effective facial soap and wash. After that, you use a toner that helps remove any leftover oil and dirt on your face. It is important to moisturize so that your skin stays hydrated at all times. Choose a light moisturizer that does not feel sticky when applied to your face.
It also helps that you stay away from makeup for a couple of days. Heavy powder and foundations can stick to your face and clog your pores. If you are not comfortable with going barefaced, you can use a lightweight facial powder that will cover impurities but still allow your face to breathe.
✅ Photo – How to Clear Subclinical Acne
This is a photo shared by a user on Pinterest. She talks about how she was able to clear subclinical acne. She has also shared her face cleaning routine and the products that she is using to clear her skin condition.
What Products to Use for Subclinical Acne
You can use a cream that contains salicylic acid to treat subclinical acne. Salicylic acid is an antibacterial that comes from the willow bark. It exfoliates the pores and prevents acne breakouts.
Facial cleansers are a great way to treat subclinical acne. Use a facial cleanser that suits your skin type. You also need to consider the sensitivity of your skin. Choose a facial cleanser that is specifically made to treat subclinical acne.
After washing your face, do not forget to apply moisturizer. Opt for a moisturizer that will not clog your pores. Avoid using products that include heavy oil like shea butter or coconut oil as an ingredient. These kinds of oil can clog the pores and may result in acne.
It is not enough to clean the face, you also need to exfoliate. Use an exfoliating scrub that effectively removes dead skin cells and oil buildup on the skin. You can exfoliate once or twice a week to avoid acne breakout.
How to Avoid Subclinical Acne
Water is essential to keep healthy and clear skin. The cells are nourished and hydrated by water. Take note that dehydration can cause the skin to compensate by producing too much oil. It is recommended to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day.
Avoid Heavy Makeup
The urge to cover up the acne on your face is strong, but it is best that you leave your skin as clean as possible. Avoid using heavy makeup and foundation that can trap oil and dirt into the pores. Too much makeup can aggravate acne. You can opt for a light powder that will allow your skin to breathe and will not clog the pores. If you have subclinical acne, it will make the situation worse. Also, avoid using heavy makeup. Foundations can settle into the pores and can lead to acne. See to it that you let your skin breathe from time to time and go barefaced. Your skin will thank you for that.
Choose the Right Skin Care Product
There are many skin care products that are available on the market. However, you need to be careful when choosing the ones that you will use. Check out the ingredients to avoid any skin allergy and irritation. If you have sensitive skin, opt for mild skincare products that are gentle to the skin.
Be mindful of the foods that you eat. There are certain foods that can trigger acne. For instance, soy and dairy products can cause hormone imbalance and can lead to excess oil production and skin irritation. Eat healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Do Not Pick Your Acne
Subclinical acne is not the typical acne that is reddish in color. They are smaller and are colored the same as your skin tone. Do not pick the acne to avoid irritation. The bacteria that are present in your fingers can transfer to the acne and can worsen it. Avoid picking on your skin to avoid scarring and irritation. Popping the little bumps on your forehead will only make it worse and can lead to inflammation. If you want to clear away subclinical acne, you need to focus on your treatment and use the right skincare products.
✅ Video Instruction
Here is a video that talks about why you should avoid popping your pimples. To learn more about the video, push the play button below.
How to Treat Subclinical Acne
The best way to treat subclinical acne is to wash your face regularly. The less dead skin cells blocking the pores, the less build-up there will be. As a result, you will have clearer skin. You also need to consider your skincare routine. Here are some ways on how you can treat subclinical acne.
Using a toner after cleansing your skin is important. The reason for this is that the cleanser is only a part of the cleansing process and not the end of it. The cleanser removes dirt and bacterial while the toner will help in purifying the skin. Use a toner that is gently and dermatologically tested.
Choose the Right Facial Cleanser
The best way that you can clean your skin and remove dirt, bacteria and dead skin out of your pores would be to choose the right facial cleanser that works for your skin type. See to it that you use a face wash that will get rid of the makeup that you have applied on your face without leaving your skin irritated and dry.
Protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage your face and cause early signs of aging. Make sure that you wear sunscreen every time you go out. This is most especially true if you are using treatment products on your face. Some products can cause irritation whey exposed to too much sunlight. Apply the right amount of sunscreen to make sure that your skin is always protected.
Use Home Remedies
There are a lot of home remedies that can help in treating subclinical acne. You can use tea tree oil, garlic, aloe vera, and honey. If you research online, you can find a lot of home remedy ingredients that are tested and proven to work by a lot of users. On the other hand, you need to be careful in using home remedies because it can cause irritation.
Visit Your Dermatologist
The best way to treat acne is to talk to your dermatologist for the best products that you can use. There are many over the counter products that you can purchase but it is best that you ask for professional advice so you can use the one that suits your skin type and will effectively remove subclinical acne with fewer side effects possible.
✅ Video Guide
If you area teen and is having doubts about choosing the right acne treatment to treat subclinical acne, the video below provides tips and information on how to choose the right treatment for teens. Click the play button for more details.
How to Use Garlic for Subclinical Acne
For many centuries, garlic has been used medicinally. As a matter of fact, there are researches that show how garlic can be useful when it comes to treating various medical conditions.
According to studies, garlic is rich in antiviral, antiseptic and antifungal properties which come from allicin. Allicin kills bacteria that cause acne and can also reduce inflammation, swelling and improve blood circulation. These enable the skin to receive nutrients.
According to Dr. Philippa Lowe, Dermatologist, and Simple Skincare expert, “There are a number of plant extracts that have antimicrobial properties, including Allicin. However, not only is it probably not enough to cure a spot, but when garlic is rubbed directly on the acne spot it can lead to a plant dermatitis and even blistering. It is much better to stick to a formulated spot gel, like Simple Spotless Skin Rapid Action Spot Zapper for a quick fix of an inflamed spot – this may include some plant extract antimicrobials such as eucalyptus oil but at a tested and safe level.”
Here are a few home remedies using garlic that you can use at home to treat subclinical acne. Take caution in applying garlic on your skin most especially if you have sensitive skin because it can cause irritation. There is no guarantee that these remedies will work. If you are having doubts, you can always get in touch with your dermatologist for some advice.
✅ Video – Using Garlic to Treat Acne
The video below is shared by a user to treat her acne problem. The ingredients include garlic and tomatoes. watch the video to find out how the mixture is done.
Garlic for Topical Use
Puree three to four cloves of garlic and directly apply it to the affected area on your face. Leave it for a few minutes, rinse with water and pat dry. A word of caution: Remove the garlic immediately if you feel and burn or itch on your skin.
Raw Garlic Juice
For this remedy, you need to mash five grated garlic cloves and let it sit for ten minutes. Using a thin cloth, squeeze the juice from the mashed cloves and dab it on the affected areas. Leave it on your skin for ten minutes and rinse with water
Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a simple remedy that you can do. Mix one spoon of apple cider vinegar with one spoon of water. Mash five grated cloves and let it sit for ten minutes. Using a thin cloth, squeeze the juice from the mashed cloves and mix it with apple cider and water. Apply it directly to the affected areas on your face and let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing with water.
✅ Video Guide
Here is a step-by-step instruction video on how to use garlic and apple cider vinegar to get rid of subclinical acne.
What is the Best Toner for Subclinical Acne?
The toner is an important part of your skincare routine. It should be applied right after cleansing the skin. If you have acne-prone skin or combination skin, choosing the right toner will help clear clogged pores and acne. There are many kinds of toners that are sold on the market. So how can you find the one that is right for you? You need to determine the type of skin that you have. Also, check the label for the ingredients that are included in the toner.
According to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, “People with oily skin should look for ingredients like salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that is soluble in oil and can help remove excess sebum from the face, as well as mandelic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid derived from almonds that have antimicrobial properties.”
He also said that it is ideal to use a toner that contains glycolic acid that can help in removing oil from the T-zone.
Talk to Your Dermatologist for the Best Subclinical Acne Treatment
It is recommended that you talk to your dermatologist about your acne concerns. They can provide you with the best advice and will prescribe the right medication or treatment to get rid of the stubborn subclinical acne on your face. Going to the dermatologist can be expensive but if you want effective and fast subclinical acne treatment results, they are your best option.
How Long Does it Take for Subclinical Acne to Go Away?
Using both over prescription and over the counter products, it can take up to twelve weeks for you to see improvements on your skin. It is important to stick to your treatment and face cleaning routine. After twelve weeks and there are still no results, you need to ask your dermatologist for another treatment option.
Why Does Subclinical Acne Breakout Occur?
This can be triggered by a lot of factors like hormones, diet and poor hygiene. Your skin type also contributes to acne breakouts. If you have oily skin, you are more likely to experience acne.
Can Subclinical Acne Also Appear On the Cheeks?
Yes, subclinical acne can appear in various areas in the face like forehead, cheeks nose, and chin.
Can Subclinical Acne Be Treated?
Yes, it can be treated. You can use skin care products or treatments. Ask your dermatologist for the best option that you have.
Subclinical acne is another kind of acne that affects a lot of people. If you are suffering from this kind of acne, it is best that you consult your dermatologist for the ideal treatment or medication that you can use. There are many things that need to be considered in treating subclinical acne-like your skin type, the severity of the acne and the proper medication. It is best that you consult a licensed dermatologist for the best treatment.
We hope that we have shared useful information that you can add to your research about subclinical acne. If you have further questions and concerns, you can visit your dermatologist and talk about the best subclinical acne treatment that will work for your skin type. Thank you for reading!