Acne is a skin condition that occurs when oil glands overproduce oil, essentially clogging the pores. The oil that normally keeps the skin moisturized is instead trapped in the pores. This blockage often results in pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and even cysts. Pimples are skin swellings that can be filled with pus. Blackheads are dark bumps on the skin that result from oil and cells in blocked pores. Whiteheads are small white colored bumps. Cysts are closed sacs that contain fluid that lie under the skin. Chronic oil overproduction can result in acne, which can be in the form of any or all of the aforementioned skin irritations.
Because areas that have the most oil glands are more susceptible to acne, acne is normally centralized in these areas. Areas on the body that contain large numbers of oil glands are the face, chest, shoulders and back. Acne is also more likely to appear on people that are in their teenage years and early twenties. This is when the skin is making adjustments and can change oil output. Acne is not limited to this age group, however. Adults of any race or gender can experience also experience acne.
The two types of acne are non-inflammatory acne and inflammatory acne. When bacteria begin to grow in the pores as a result of oil blockage, the result will either be non-inflammatory or inflammatory. Examples of non-inflammatory acne are whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads result when trapped oil stays below the skin, while blackheads result when the pore opens to the surface. Whiteheads and blackheads can also turn into inflammatory acne if they are picked or touched. Examples of inflammatory acne are papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Inflammatory acne is often sore to the touch because of the inflamed skin and the bacteria trapped under the skin. Acne often begins as a papule and turns into a pustule, more commonly known as a zit or a pimple.
Acne outbreaks can be painful both physically and emotionally. Those who suffer from acne often seek the help of a dermatologist to cure acne. Topical ointments and creams as well as ingestible medications can be prescribed to help lessen acne outbreaks and scarring from acne. Physicians can also be consulted to evaluate hormone levels in women if acne continues to be persistent throughout adulthood.
Most people who have acne will only experience acne outbreaks for three to four years. In some cases, acne can continue for eight to twelve years. In much more rare cases, acne lasts beyond the mid-twenties. Women in particular have a higher chance of having acne flare-ups because of the menstrual cycle. Around the time of the menstrual cycle, androgens are increased and this can result in an acne outbreak. However, it is men that normally experience the more severe cases of acne. Male hormones tend to stimulate acne formation, resulting in bigger pimples and cysts in males.
Nearly everyone suffers from some sort of outbreak of pimples during their lives, and acne is extremely common. Acne is common on the face, chest, back and shoulders. Acne is caused by a number of different things, none of which are easily targeted and corrected. The most common causes of acne are heredity and hormones Acne is not caused by a bad diet or poor hygiene. Because of this, some acne cases can be more difficult to cure than others. While medications may work for one person, they may not be helpful for others. The best way to cure acne is to see a physician or dermatologist who can target the cause of your acne and recommend treatment methods.