What is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells.
It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders.
Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.
Depending on the severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin.
The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of longterm problems and possibility of scarring.
For many women, acne can persist for decades, with flare ups common a week before menstruation. This type of acne tends to clear up without treatment in women who use contraceptives.
In older adults, a sudden onset of severe acne may signal an underlying disease requiring medical attention.
Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)
Blackheads (open plugged pores)
Small red, tender bumps (papules)
Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips
Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)
Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)
Excess oil production
Hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
Diet can also affect the severity of acne. Studies indicate that certain dietary factors, including skim milk and carbohydrate-rich foods may worsen acne.
Stress can also make acne worse.
Hormones may exacerbate acne. Androgens are hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum.
Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives also can affect sebum production.
Certain medications such as corticosteroids, testosterone or lithium can cause acne to worsen.