Acne is a common condition that causes blocked pores, pimples, cysts and other lesions on the skin of the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Although teenagers are often affected, adults of any age can suffer from acne. Acne is not life-threatening, but can lead to physical disfigurement and emotional distress. There are several effective treatment methods that improve the skin’s appearance and prevent future breakouts.
Acne develops when pores become clogged, either from an overproduction of oil, a buildup of bacteria or a shedding of dead skin cells. When oil, bacteria or dead skin cells build up in the hair follicle, they form a soft plug that forces the follicle wall to bulge and protrude from the skin, causing a lesion. The cause of excess oil production is unknown, but is believed to involve a combination of several factors, including hormones, bacteria, heredity and, in some cases, the use of certain medications. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate, greasy foods and dirty skin do not cause acne.
Before and After:
Frequently Asked Acne Questions:
Should I stop wearing makeup if I have acne?
You don’t have to stop wearing it all together but certain ingredients in products can aggravate acne so try to look for toiletries and cosmetics that say Non-comedogenic, meaning that they won’t clog your pores.
When should I see a dermatologist for my acne?
If over-the-counter treatments in combination with gentle cleansing don’t work, (give it a chance it can take 4-12 weeks to improve) a dermatologist may be able to help. Severe acne needs treatment to prevent scarring.
Can what I eat cause acne breakouts?
Generally, no. The primary trigger is hormones. Hormones stimulate the oil glands to produce more sebum (the oil your body produces) which can block pores. However, stress and other factors can contribute to breakouts as well. Still, other studies of acne’s relationship to nutrition have shown that a diet with a high glycemic index such as white breads, waffles, and other carbs worsens acne.
Does acne mean I’m not keeping my face clean?
Not necessarily. Scrubbing too hard can make your acne worse. Acne is usually triggered by hormones and while gentle regular cleansing with soap and warm water can sometimes help with mild breakouts more significant acne requires more than just good hygiene.
Will my acne ever go away?
Acne often clears up after puberty on its own. However, some severe acne and adult acne can need more aggressive treatment. Almost all acne can be treated it’s just a matter of finding the right treatment for you.