What is Acne?
Acne is a common skin disorder consisting of small, or comedonal, bumps and larger, often tender, inflamed bumps. Although acne occurs commonly amongst teenagers, it can affect people of all ages. Acne most commonly affects the face, shoulders, chest, and back.
A person's likelihood of experiencing acne is largely dependent upon whether they have a family history of acne. However, certain lifestyle factors, such as stress, sleep habits, and hormonal changes, can significantly increase the oil production in one's skin. It is this excessive oil production, amongst other things, that can lead to acne.
In additional to excessive oil production, clogged pores also contribute to acne formation. Occasionally, bacterial overgrowth also plays a role. Treatment of acne is aimed at reducing the influence of each of these factors. Washing regularly, sometimes with exfoliating cleansers, can help to unclog pores. Oral or topical antibiotics reduce bacterial overgrowth and hormonal therapies target excessive oil production. There is increasing evidence that diet modification can positively affect acne.