Acne - Introduction

Introduction Causes Self-Care Guidelines Treatments

Acne, also known as acne vulgaris, is thought to be caused by multiple factors. Overproduction of a type of normal oil on the skin, called sebum, increases under the influence of hormones. This, coupled with insufficient shedding of exfoliating dead skin cells, plugs hair follicles. The plugged follicle can become inflamed and have increased growth of normal skin bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes. Medications such as lithium, cortisone, hormones, some seizure medications, or some antibiotics can also cause acne lesions.

There is no cure for acne, but certain measures can help prevent more breakouts. Acne can result in scarring, so minimizing breakouts is important.

Acne affects 85–100% of people at some point in their lives, and it usually begins at puberty. Acne can persist into the 30s and beyond. In fact, 5% of people over 45 still have acne. People of all ethnic backgrounds get acne.