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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

How long does it take for acne to appear?

Hi all, just wondering what you all thought about how long it takes pimples/acne to form.  I have heard anything from 4-6 weeks to just 4-6 days, but have not really found any definitive answer.  


I can see the 4-6 weeks for the painful cyst type that erupts slowly from deep under the skin, but then there's the other type where your pores get clogged and you see a small bump on your skin that eventually turns into blemish.  How long does it take for that small bump to form on your skin?

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

This is such a great question. Sometimes when I really pig out on candy, then break out a few days later, I wonder if the sugar overload is to blame (I've heard people say that but I'm never sure if it is true or an old wives tale). But I guess it makes sense that it takes longer than that for acne to form! So interesting. 

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

Actually pimples start out in the hair follicles 2 to 4  weeks before you can even see them,I used to work for a derm so here we go with acne 101.Smiley Tongue

 Hair follicles contain oil glands that contain sebum or oil as we know it. When you've got that oil it picks up dirt and debris as it gets closer to the surface then it goes and block skin pores, clogging those hair follicles,bacteria then attacks your skin when it clogged by oil or sweat. Bacteria known as P. acnes live on your skin and thrive and grows into the clogged hair follicles and that's where the big bad cystic acne is born.All in all keep your pores clean and that little white head treated and keep the bacteria out of that little white head that popped up yesterday you won't have that big cyst pop up in two or 3 weeks. Hope this helps!

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

Oh gosh, I thought I knew but it depends. Anywhere from 2 days to a month. If the bumps close enough to the surface that you can tell they are white/blackheads, I can use a mask to jumpstart the skin and push/draw it out in 2-6 days. I'm not quite sure how to deal with my acnes. If they are acne, sometimes the stuff I use calms inflammation and they actually kind of shrink back in (I still have the 2 on my forehead from a month ago, they are baby smooth from all the peels/exfoliations and doesn't feel itchy/hurt anymore from all the calming masks I use, but they just refuse to come out). Well, they seems to be surfacing faster if I eat spicy food, which also kind of gives me acne, soo.....I don't know about the acne part, just the black/whiteheads. >.<

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

I honestly find that it just varies on the person. Acne and skin care can be on such on individual, case by case basis that what may hold true for XYZ of the population might not be true or do as well for ABC of the population.


Also, it can depend on the severity of the blemish/acne and it's cause.


Usually blemishes that pop up from product/ingreident reactions or wearing product that is too heavy can bring blemishes out in a matter of a day or two on skin, but excessive oil or sebum accumulated in a specific area might take longer to develop and reach the surface.

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

2 days for me, 3-5 to be extractable Smiley Tongue

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

ok moregun, this will sound weird, but i'm jealous of your fast-extracting clogged pores!  mine just stay clogged and keep getting bigger until ... well it's not pretty.  so if it's only a couple days, i guess you normally can tell pretty quickly what's causing the clogs?


narrowing down the timeframe should help me a lot with figuring out what the heck is causing all that clogging.  i honestly thought it would take longer than, weeks, maybe.

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

Have you ever tried those mini, at-home facial steam machines? They may help in opening up your pores and allowing whatever treatments or active ingredients penetrate better to clear pores!

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

haha, I'm thankful too, but the problem is that they come in packs, and having big pores, well, big problems when you have them Smiley Tongue  And yes, usually I can tell pretty quickly, for example I tried using the Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion as a night cream for when i stay at the BFs, after two weekends of coming home broken out, I told him to toss it before I forget and use it again Smiley Tongue  If I recall it did the same thing when I tried it when I was 16, but it was much more difficult to tell through the other acne that was present.  


I hope you figure out the source of your clogging soon, drrrragon!

Re: How long does it take for acne to appear?

hey thanks MoreGun!  I hope so too.  Your observation helps a lot, because now that I know it's possible, I'll keep closer watch on what I'm putting on my face and whether I get clogged pores a few days later.  For some reason I always had it in my head that it took several weeks....if it is in fact just a few days for me, that makes the investigation SO much easier!

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