Acne is a skin disease consisting of blemishes that can occur on your face, neck, chest, shoulders, and back.
Acne is very common during the teen years but it can also affect you during adulthood as well. To keep your hair and skin well lubricated, your body depends on sebaceous glands which sit just under your skin. These glands secret an oily substance called sebum which coats your skin and hair to prevent them from drying out.
Sebum travels up hair follicles and out through your pores onto the surface of your skin. Your hair follicles routinely shed dead skin cells which sebum carries out of your body. When your body produces extra sebum and dead skin cells, they can stick together and clog your pores, resulting in skin blemishes.
Bacteria that normally exist in small amounts on your skin can flourish in the sebum in the clogged pore leading to inflammation. Depending on where the clog is located and if you have inflammation, acne may appear as:
Hormonal changes, particularly a rise in testosterone can lead to sebum overproduction which is why acne often occurs during the teen years. However, it can occur at any age. Other factors contributing to the development of acne are bacteria, certain medications, and genetics.
If you have a mild case of acne, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter lotion with one of several active ingredients.
These are strong chemicals that may irritate your skin. Follow the directions for use exactly.If over-the-counter products are not effective, your dermatologist may prescribe a stronger prescription lotion such as
For moderate to severe cases, your dermatologist may prescribe an oral medical alone or in combination with a topical treatment. These medications include
Regardless of the treatment your doctor recommends, good skincare is essential. For example,