What Is Acne?
Acne is a common skin disorder that occurs when pores become clogged. It can affect both men and women. Acne most often occurs in teenagers or young adults, but it can occur at any age. In fact, most people in the United States between 11 and 30 years old have some type of acne.
What Causes Acne?
Acne is caused when hair follicles becoming blocked and filled with dead skin and oily secretions (sebum). This blockage allows bacteria to overgrow, which leads to inflammation. Hormones can increase sebum production and may worsen acne.
Other causes of acne include:
- Hormone level changes during the menstrual cycle in women
- Hormone changes during pregnancy
- Starting or stopping birth control pills
- Certain drugs (such as corticosteroids, lithium, and barbiturates)
- Oil and grease from the scalp, mineral or cooking oil and certain cosmetics
Signs and Symptoms of Acne
Acne commonly occurs on the face, chest and back. Some types of acne lesions may leave dark spots as they heal, and some may scar. Acne can develop in different ways:
- Red bumps or pustules (pimples)
- Larger nodules that can be tender or filled with pus
Acne treatments are aimed at either preventing pores from becoming clogged or killing bacteria that contribute to acne. Treatment plans for acne depend on:
- Your age, overall health and medical history
- Severity of the acne
- Your tolerance to specific medications, procedures or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Your opinion or preference
Your dermatologist may use one or a combination of the following acne treatments:
- Topical (skin-based) or oral antibiotics or retinoids
- Oral medications such as birth control pills to help control hormones that contribute to acne
If you have acne, you should:
- Avoid picking the areas because they can worsen and lead to scarring.
- Use skin products to help prevent clogged pores.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 917-3376.