Is acne contagious?
Or, if you’ve just started dropping out, you might be wondering why. Where does acne come from?
Is acne contagious? Is it possible to catch acne from someone else?
No, Acne is not Contagious
There are some skin problems that are contagious, but acne is not one of them. Common acne (called acne vulgaris in med-speak) cannot be passed from person to person like a cold or flu.
You can touch, hug, and kiss someone with acne without the fear of catching the skin disorder. You can safely share the same towel or soap with someone who has acne. You won’t get acne because you can’t catch acne.
Acne is an incredibly common skin problem. Almost every person will develop acne at some point in their life.
So, just because you developed acne a week or two after hanging out with someone who has acne, it doesn’t mean you caught acne from them. Coincidentally, maybe. But the origin of your acne? No.
Here’s How You Actually Get Acne
So if acne isn’t contagious, how do people get acne in the first place?
Three major factors contribute to acne—a plug of skin cells that become trapped in the pore, an excess of the skin’s natural oil (called sebum), and the acne-causing bacterium Propionibacterium acnes (P.
P. acnes are bacteria that are regularly present on the skin. It doesn’t get passed from person to person, so you don’t need to worry about “catching” this bacterium and developing acne.
P. acnes is usually harmless. But when a plug of dead skin cells and oil clogs the pores, it creates an anaerobic environment where P. Acne flourishes. The bacteria irritate the pores, causing redness and swelling.
It could be another skin problem
While a pimple, or two or three, may appear overnight, a full face (or back, etc.) of acne does not appear quickly. There are also other skin problems that can cause pimples and acne-like rashes.
If your skin has always been clear before, you should see your doctor if you’ve suddenly had acne. Just like if a friend or family member got a rash last week and now you have acne that looks the same. Acne does not pass from person to person, but other types of rashes can occur.
If you’re not 100% sure it’s run-of-the-mill acne, your best bet is to make an appointment with your doctor. Tell medical professionals what is happening to your skin.
Can Acne be Treated
If it becomes acne on a regular basis, your doctor can also help you design a treatment plan to clear up your skin.
So, if any of your friends or family members have acne, you cannot catch it from them. If you have acne, you don’t have to worry about getting acne with them.
Although there is no cure for acne, it can be treated. If your acne is mild, try over-the-counter treatments first.
If your acne is more severe, or if you cannot control your acne with OTC products, contact a dermatologist. Your doctor can help you develop a successful acne treatment plan.