What is acne?
Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the oil-secreting glands in the skin are clogged and become inflamed or
How does it occur?
Acne is caused by inflammation or infection of the oil glands in the skin and at the base of hairs. In the teenage years,
hormones stimulate the growth of body hair, and the oil glands secrete more oil. The skin pores become clogged and
bacteria grow in the clogged pores. When the body works to kill the bacteria, whiteheads, blackheads, and pustules
form in these areas.
Stress, birth control pills, and too little rest can make acne worse.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of acne are:
• whiteheads, which are closed plugged oil glands
blackheads, which are open plugged oil glands (the oil turns black when it's exposed to the air)
pustules, which are red, inflamed, infected plugged oil glands, sometimes filled with pus.
Some pimples may be painful. In severe cases, cysts (large fluid-filled bumps) may develop under the skin.
How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider will check your skin to see what type of problem you are having (such as blackheads or
cysts). Your provider will look to see where you are having problems, for example, your face or back. Your provider will
want to know how long you have had the problem and how you have been caring for your skin.
How is it treated?
Treatment is aimed at keeping oil and dirt out of the pores and reducing inflammation.
You and your health care provider will talk about how you are currently taking care of your skin. You will discuss which
products, such as soaps and lotions, you should or should not use. If you have been using prescription medications for
your acne, bring the medicine names or containers to your appointment.
Several products may be used to help prevent pimples or blackheads. Treatment usually begins with putting products
containing benzoyl peroxide on the areas of skin with acne.
If benzoyl peroxide alone is not effective, then you may also