What is acne? Acne is a common skin disease that causes pimples (or zits). The holes in your skin – pores – connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make sebum – an oily substance. The pores are connected to a follicle. Inside the follicles, dead skin cells are transported by the oil to the surface of the skin. A pimple grows when the follicle of a skin gland clogs up. The most common place for pimples to form is on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. While acne is not serious, it can cause scars.
Why treat acne? Early treatment is the best way to prevent scars.
Acne is the most common skin disease. People in their forties and fifties still get acne. However, acne is most common in teenagers and young adults. A whooping 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 have acne outbreaks at some point.
Acne myths In most people, there is little evidence to show that chocolate and greasy foods are to blame. Another acne myth is that dirty skin causes acne. That is a fallacy. Blackheads and pimples are not caused by dirt. And while stress does not cause acne, it can exacerbate acne.
What Causes Acne? The actual cause of acne is not known. Research suggests that hormone changes, such as those during the teenage years and pregnancy, probably play a role.
Doctors believe that certain factors may cause acne including:
• The hormone increase in teenage years (this can cause the oil glands to plug up more often)
• Hormone changes during pregnancy
• Starting or stopping birth control pills
• Heredity (if your parents had acne, you might get it, too)
• Some types of medicine
• Greasy makeup
Acne can often be acquired by use of topical creams. In acute cases, a physician can prescribe antiobiotics and topicals to help contain the outbreak.
Proper nutrition, including vitamins and plenty of water, can help as well.