Acne is a skin condition most people over the age of 12 have experienced at least once. It can be an unattractive condition that makes you feel vulnerable and want to remedy the situation as soon as possible. Acne is a skin condition caused by clogged hair follicles, such as those plugged with dead skin cells or skin oils. It is most common on your face, neck, back, shoulders, and neck. These areas have the most oil glands, therefore are more prone to acne problems.

Forms of Acne

Acne comes in two main forms; non-inflammatory lesions and inflammatory lesions. Inflammatory lesions include whiteheads and blackheads also called comedones, which happen when the openings of your hair follicles are clogged. Comedones at the surface of your skin is called a blackhead due to their dark appearance, while closed comedones are called whiteheads because they include whitish, raised bumps. Inflammatory lesions include pimples, nodules, and cysts each of which have a slightly different appearance.

Causes of Acne

You may have heard of greasy, fatty foods and chocolate causing acne, but actually only three causes lead to acne; the overproduction of skin oils, shedding of dead skin cells in excess that irritate your hair follicles, and the build-up of bacteria. All of these can lead to your hair follicles becoming plugged and clogged with dead skin cells and oils. This creates an environment where bacteria thrives and ultimately causes one of the above types of acne, including blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pimples. There are of course some lifestyle occurrences that may worsen your acne, though they aren’t the root cause. These include hormone changes such as during puberty, an unhealthy diet, medications and touching your face excessively to produce more skin oils.

High Risks for Acne

Due to the lifestyle and hormonal changes, some people are more prone to get acne than others. This includes teenagers and pregnant women, both of which will have a variety of hormonal fluctuations to worsen acne, family history of acne issues, stressful lifestyles, women before their menstrual cycle, and people using certain medications.

How to Treat Acne

There are a variety of treatments, both prescribes and over-the-counter, that can reduce oils and dead skin cells and hopefully cure your acne. One type of treatment is the use of a topical treatment purchased at your local drug store like those containing benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol, sulfur, and salicylic acid as a main ingredient. Topical treatments are also available in prescription form from your dermatologist, such as the brand names Retin-A and Differin. You can also get antibiotics, laser treatment, and cosmetic treatments to treat your acne.

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