Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. It typically begins around puberty when hormonal changes stimulate the production of oil, or sebum, in the sebaceous glands of the skin. Clogging of the pores by excess sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria then causes the formation of acne bumps, which may take the form of white heads, black heads, red bumps, pustules, or cysts. Acne severity will vary from person to person; breakouts may be occasional and mild, or if dealing with cystic acne it may consist of very large, painful, red and draining cysts that heal with scarring. Acne blemishes, discoloration, blotchiness, and scars can be a significant source of distress for many people, especially during adolescence.
Who is likely to develop acne?
While acne severity tends to lessen as a person leaves the teenage years, some women in particular will continue to suffer from acne breakouts into their 20s, 30s, 40s and beyond. These women are genetically predisposed to hormonal breakouts because their sebaceous glands are more sensitive to stimulation by testosterone. Hormonal acne may worsen with menstrual periods, hormonal contraceptives, pregnancy, polycystic ovaries, or stress.
how to get rid acne
Fortunately there are many effective treatment options available for all types of acne. The primary goal is to maintain clear, healthy skin, boosting self-confidence, and avoiding scarring. Some patients do well with a regimen consisting of washes and/or creams, while others require treatment with short-term oral antibiotics, oral contraceptive pills, or non-hormonal anti-androgen therapy. Severe or resistant acne may be safely and effectively be treated with isotretinoin (Accutane). Other forms of treatment would include skin peels, red light therapy, blue light therapy, and laser. Treatment for red and brown discoloration as well as acne scarring is also available.