What Is Acne?
Acne is a very common condition that causes blocked pores, pimples, cysts and other lesions on the skin of the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. Acne affects over 17 million people in the US, making it the most common skin disease in the country. This highly visible disease can cause embarrassment, self-consciousness, and social withdrawal. Teenagers are not the only people who suffer from acne. We commonly see adults in their 30’s and 40’s who still suffer from acne. A significant number of women in their late 20’s and early 30’s develop a “hormonal” type of acne with deep cysts and nodules on the lower part of the face and jawline. Unfortunately, there is no age limit for this potentially disfiguring disease.
What Causes Acne?
Acne develops on the skin when the pores become clogged, which may occur as a result of an overproduction of oil, a buildup of bacteria or shedding of dead skin cells that irritate the pores and hair follicles. When these substances 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 to develop.
The cause of excess oil production is unknown, but is believed to be caused by a combination of several factors, including hormones, bacteria, heredity and certain medications. Contrary to popular belief, chocolate or other foods and dirt do not cause acne.