Here’s How You Can Deal With Subclinical Acne?


“Subclinical Acne” would have already made you wonder that it’s some strange kind of acne, thanks to the name. You’ll be surprised to know that as peculiar as it sounds, it is pretty common. It can appear on your face as well as on other parts of your body. If you are facing this, no worries, as solutions are just around the corner.

What Do You Mean by Subclinical Acne?

Although you may notice this name on several websites, it has nothing to do with dermatology. Subclinical acne is a misnomer or inaccurate term. A lot of people confuse it with cystic acne as well, which is not the case.

The term subclinical disease means a condition in its early stage without any signs/symptoms related to the disease being noticeable. However, bumps or acne and even pimples that appear on your skin define clinical presentation. Therefore, subclinical acne makes no sense.

Given Below are Two Types of Acne: 

Active Acne

If you notice comedones, pustules and inflammatory papules, that’s active acne.

Inactive Acne

It implies that there are no papules, comedones or pustules present.

What Causes Acne on Your Skin?

  • Excess Sebum (Oil) Production
  • Inflammation
  • Clogged Pores
  • Acne bacteria
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Lifestyle Factors such as your diet and stress levels

How Can You Treat it?

Though the term doesn’t qualify, there are things you can do to prevent acne and get clear and healthy skin. Depending on your condition, dermatologists will suggest proper treatment. For mild acne, OTC (over-the-counter) medications or alterations in your lifestyle may work fine. Whereas for moderate to severe acne, you may need prescription-strength treatment approved by dermatologists. Consult with a medical professional to understand your acne, its types, the right products and treatment. 

Changes in Lifestyle To Clear Up Acne

  • Use a mild cleanser and stick to washing your face twice a day. You also need to clean up your face after activities that lead to sweating.
  • Avoid touching or picking acne or pimples.
  • Use products that are oil-free, lightweight and non-comedogenic.
  • Do not scrub your face as it can irritate your skin.
  • Switch to a balanced diet that provides all essential nutrients.

Over-The-Counter Medications

At times self-care doesn’t work, or you may not have access to prescription-based medicines. Hence, OTC products are an option for you. Look for products that have BHAs (beta hydroxy acids), benzoyl peroxide and azelaic acid. Do not go overboard in applying these products, as they can cause dryness in your skin. Be it acne-prone or oily skin; you would still need a moisturiser to keep your skin hydrated.

As per the American Academy of Dermatology (1), you need to give your acne treatment a minimum of about four weeks to work. You may start noticing improvement in about four to six weeks. However, medications such as topical retinoids may require about 12 weeks to work on your skin.

Dermatologist-Approved Treatment

If you have tried almost everything, or see no improvement, speak to a doctor/dermatologist. They can offer medication or treatment options suitable for you.

Summing Up

Though subclinical acne may not be the right word, there are solutions to deal with acne. You don’t need to wait for acne to appear to care for your skin. Even a basic skincare routine and some simple aspects such as washing your face, using the right products and diet can be immensely beneficial to get healthy and acne-free skin. If there are concerns or you feel bothered by your acne, consult a dermatologist.


  1. What are these bumps that have appeared on your face?

There are various kinds of bumps that appear on the face, such as milia, comedones and moles. To know the exact type, talk to your doctor. Also, note that every bump doesn’t mean something serious and can be harmless too.

  1. Can tea tree oil make your acne worse?

You may have read or heard that tea tree oil is effective for acne. However, you need to remember that there is limited evidence to prove that tea tree oil is helpful to heal acne. You also need to be sure that you aren’t allergic to tea tree oil before using it. A better option is to check with a doctor to ensure safety.

  1. What does fungal acne mean?

It is a form of infection that happens within the hair follicles. Fungal acne appears as red itchy bumps on the sides of your face, chin and forehead.

  1. How can you prevent pimples permanently?

There are ways to prevent pimples permanently, but it would depend on your condition. In some mild cases, lifestyle changes and a good skincare routine works fine. Though, it may not be applicable for people with severe acne or underlying health conditions. Only a doctor can share the accurate time and treatment required to get rid of acne.



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Chaitali Nayak

A writer and a skincare fanatic, Chaitali believes that words and kindness can transform the world. She has a master’s degree in Advertising & Public Relations and has worked for various advertising agencies and digital marketing firms. With the help of expert dermatologists at CureSkin, she works towards creating content that helps eliminate misinformation related to skincare. The aim is to educate yet bring something exciting and new every time for the readers. When not busy writing, you can find her talking to her plants, eating, drawing or watching movies.