What is acne?

Acne is a chronic skin condition that affects the skin’s oil glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows. It then causes skin redness and blemishes—small, inflamed spots on the skin—that usually appear on the face, chest, or back, and sometimes in more than one of these areas. Acne most often begins in puberty. During puberty, the male sex hormones (androgens) increase in both boys and girls. This causes the sebaceous glands to produce more oil, blocking the sebum, plugging follicles, and growing skin bacteria inside the follicles. Inflammation and pimples then develop. 
The most common types of pimples are:
  • Whiteheads stay under the skin's surface.
  • Blackheads rise to the surface of the skin.
  • Papules are tender, small pink bumps.
  • Pustules have pus on the top and are red on the bottom of the lesion.
  • Nodules are hard, large, painful pimples that arise deep in the skin.
  • Cysts are pus-filled, deep, painful pimples that often result in scars. 
Risk factors
  • Orally administered drugs, notably: 
  • Corticosteroids
  • Isoniazid
  • Lithium carbonate
  • Phenytoin
  • Halogen-containing sedatives and expectorants
  • Topical exposure to an irritant oil or cosmetic
  • Environmental exposure to dioxin or halogenated phenolic compounds.
A health care provider can usually diagnose acne by examining the skin.
Treatment for acne focuses on minimizing scarring and improving appearance.
  • Acne is the most common skin disease. 
  • People of all races and ages get acne. 
  • An estimated 80% of all people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks.
acne about

  • "Acne Vulgaris." WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases: Acne Vulgaris. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 07 May 2017.
  • "What Is Acne?" National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Nov. 2014. Web. 07 May 2017.
  • "Acne - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 07 May 2017.
  • "Acne." Acne | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Health System, n.d. Web. 07 May 2017.
  • "Acne." Acne | Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, n.d. Web. 7 May 2017.


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