Acne is a common condition caused by a cascade of events that leads to skin lesions often over the face but can include the neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Although teenagers are often affected, adults of any age can suffer from acne. There are different types of acne lesions and multiple effective treatment methods are available for treatment. The goal of treatment is to improve the skin’s appearance, prevent future breakouts and stop scarring.
What causes Acne?
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. Acne lesions may be described as blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, nodules, pustules, or swelling.
Acne treatment is designed to increase the speed of skin-cell turnover, reduce inflammation and eradicate P. Acnes (the offending organism in acne). Treatment may include a combination of topical creams and/or gels, oral antibiotics, oral medications to aid with abnormal hormonal influence on the skin cells or isotretinoin.