What Is Acne?

According to Merriam Webster, acne is a skin disorder caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles, specifically a form found chiefly in adolescents and marked by pimples, especially on the face.

Key Takeaways

  • despite the most common occurance of acne being throughout puberty, it can occur at any time in a person’s life
  • acne effects 75% of people between the age of 11 and 30
  • although it is not dangerous, the scars can be permanent

Understanding Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that can be present in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, papules, cysts, nodules, and pustules. Our skin contains pores, that join onto oil glands deep under the surface.

The glands are connected to the pores by follicles, and it is within these follicles that sebum is produced. It is the sebum’s job to carry dead skin cells to the surface of the skin.

As we know, hair also grows out of the follicles. When the hair, sebum and dead skin cells join, they can form a plug which in turn, can become infected. This plug is the beginning of a pimple. Bacteria that lives on the surface of our skin can also exacerbate the severity of acne.

Various factors can contribute to the risk of acne. Factors such as hormonal changes, emotional stress, menstruation, medications (containing androgen and lithium), oil-heavy cosmetic products.

Accordingly, treatment can vary depending on the individual case.

Mild cases may be treated with something as simple as an over the counter medication in gel, soap form. These products may contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, Retin A, Benzoyl Peroxide, and Azelaic Acid.

For more severe cases, dermatologists and skin specialists may be advised. Treatment can be in forms of steroids via injections or oral antibiotics.


Merriam Webster

Medical News Today

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