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What is acne?
How does acne develop?
Who gets acne?
What causes acne?
How is acne treated?
people with acne care for their skin?
can make acne worse?
Where can I buy home test kits for contributing factors of this
What is acne? (top)
Acne is a
disease 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. Inside the follicles, oil carries dead skin cells to
the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and
out to the skin. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple
Most pimples are
found on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is not a
serious health threat but, it can cause scars.
How does acne develop? (top)
hair, sebum, and skin cells clump together into a plug. The bacteria in
the plug causes swelling. Then when the plug starts to break down, a
There are many
types of pimples. The most common types are:
These are pimples that stay under the surface of the skin.
These pimples rise to the skin's surface and look black. The black color
is not from dirt.
are small pink bumps that can be tender.
pimples are red at the bottom and have pus on top.
are large, painful, solid pimples that are deep in the skin.
deep, painful, pus-filled pimples can cause scars.
Who gets acne? (top)
Acne is the most
common skin disease. Nearly 17 million people in the United States have
it. People of all races and ages get acne. But it is most common in
teenagers and young adults. Nearly 85 percent of people between the ages
of 12 and 24 get acne. For most people, acne goes away by age 30. But
some people in their forties and fifties still get acne.
What causes acne? (top)
The cause of
acne is unknown. Doctors think certain factors might cause it:
The hormone increase in teenage years (this can cause the oil glands to
plug up more often)
stopping birth control pills
your parents had acne, you might get it, too)
Some types of
How Is Acne Treated? (top)
Acne is treated
by doctors who work with skin problems (dermatologists). Treatment tries
is the best way to prevent scars. Your doctor may suggest
over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs. Some acne medicines are
put right on the skin. Other medicines are pills that you swallow. The
doctor may tell you to use more than one medicine.
People With Acne Care for Their Skin? (top)
Here are some
ways to care for skin if you have acne:
gently. Use a mild cleanser in the morning, evening, and after heavy
workouts. Scrubbing the skin does not stop acne. It can even make the
Try not to touch
your skin. People who squeeze, pinch, or pick their pimples can get
scars or dark spots on their skin.
If you shave, you can try both electric and safety razors. With safety
razors, use a sharp blade. Also, it helps to soften your beard with soap
and water before putting on shaving cream. Shave lightly and only when
you have to.
Stay out of the
sun. Many acne drugs can make people more likely to sunburn. Being in
the sun a lot can also make skin wrinkle and raise the risk of skin
carefully. All makeup should be oil free. Look for the word
"noncomedogenic" on the label. This means that the makeup will not clog
up your pores. But some people still get acne even if they use these
What Things Can Make Acne
levels in teenage girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their period
Leaning on or
rubbing the skin
bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars
picking at pimples
of the skin
to buy home test kits for
contributing factors of this condition.