Acne (or Acne vulgaris) is a skin problem that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. Some people call it blackheads, blemishes, whiteheads, pimples, or zits. When you have just a few red spots, or pimples, you have a mild form of acne. Severe acne can mean hundreds of pimples that can cover the face, neck, chest, and back or it can be bigger, solid, red lumps that are painful (cysts).
Acne starts when oil and dead skin cells clog the skin's pores. If germs get into the pores, the result can be swelling, redness and pus. For most people, acne starts during the teen years. This is because hormone changes make the skin oilier after puberty starts. Acne is very common among teens. It usually gets better after the teen years. Some women who never had acne growing up will have it as an adult, often right before their menstrual periods. Acne can run in families. If one of your parents had severe acne, you are more likely to have it.
Genetics is thought to be the cause in most cases. The role of diet as a cause is unclear and neither cleanliness nor sunlight appear to be involved. However, smoking does increase the risk of developing acne, and also worsens its severity. Acne primarily affects skin with a greater number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. During puberty, in both sexes, acne is often brought on by an increase in androgens such as testosterone. Excessive growth of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which is normally present on the skin, is often involved.
Symptoms of acne include whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. These can occur on the face, neck, shoulders, back, or chest. Pimples that are large and deep are called cystic lesions. These can be painful if they get infected. They can also scar the skin.
Types of Acne
There are different types of acne. The most common acne is the type that develops during the teen years. Puberty causes hormone levels to rise, especially testosterone. These changing hormones cause skin glands to start making more oil (sebum). Oil releases from the pores to protect the skin and keep it moist. Acne begins when oil mixes with dead cells and clogs the skin's pores. Bacteria can grow in this mixture. And if this mixture leaks into nearby tissues, it causes swelling, redness, and pus. A common name for these raised bumps is pimples.
Certain medicines, such as corticosteroids or lithium, can cause acne to develop. Talk to your doctor about any medicines you are taking.
It isn't just teens who are affected by acne. Sometimes newborns have acne because their mothers pass hormones to them just before delivery. Acne can also appear when the stress of birth causes the baby's body to release hormones on its own. Young children and older adults may also get acne.
A few conditions of the endocrine system, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and Cushing syndrome, can lead to outbreaks of acne.
The good news is that there are many good treatments that can help you get acne under control. Many acne treatment options are available to improve the appearance of acne, including lifestyle changes, procedures, and medications. Eating fewer simple carbohydrates like sugar may help. Using oil-based skin products or cosmetics can make acne worse. Use skin products that don't clog your pores. Look for products that say "non-comedogenic" on the label. Wash your skin once or twice a day with a gentle soap or acne wash. Try not to scrub or pick at your pimples. This can make them worse and can cause scars.
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Note: Above statements have not been evaluated by a physician. It is always recommended to consult your physician, doctor or dietitian before trying any of the above. Try these and feel the difference, experience the quality of life. Say goodbye to acne and enjoy a great looking complexion!