Also called: Pimples, Zits

Acne is a common skin disease that causes pimples. Pimples form when hair follicles under your skin clog up. Most pimples form on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Anyone can get acne, but it is common in teenagers and young adults. It is not serious, but it can cause scars.

No one knows exactly what causes acne. Hormone changes, such as those during the teenage years and pregnancy, probably play a role. There are many myths about what causes acne. Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed, but there is little evidence that foods have much effect on acne in most people. Another common myth is that dirty skin causes acne; however, blackheads and pimples are not caused by dirt. Stress doesn't cause acne, but stress can make it worse.

If you have acne

  • Clean your skin gently
  • Try not to touch your skin
  • Avoid the sun

Treatments for acne include medicines and creams.

NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Symptoms of Acne

The following features are indicative of Acne:
  • seborrhea
  • microcomedones
  • comedones
  • papules
  • nodules
  • pustules
  • scars

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Common Causes of Acne

The following are the most common causes of Acne:
  • influence of multiple genes
  • hormonal changes
  • anaerobic bacterial infections

Other Causes of Acne

The following are the less common causes of Acne:
  • diet
  • stress
  • cigarette smoking

Risk Factors for Acne

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Acne:
  • stress
  • environmental factors
  • insufficient sleep
  • cosmetic make-up use

Prevention of Acne

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Acne. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • gently wash the face twice a day
  • avoid the use of toners, astringents and exfoliants
  • use oil-free cosmetics and sunscreens

Occurrence of Acne

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Acne cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Acne most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 20-35 years

Common Gender

Acne can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Acne

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Acne:
  • Cook's acne grading scale: To grade severity from 0 to 8
  • Leeds acne grading technique: To count acne lesions on the face, chest and back

Doctor for Diagnosis of Acne

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Acne:
  • Dermatologist

Complications of Acne if untreated

Yes, Acne causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Acne is left untreated:
  • permanent scars
  • low self-esteem

Procedures for Treatment of Acne

The following procedures are used to treat Acne:
  • Comedo extraction: For the treatment of comedones that do not improve with standard treatment
  • Electrocautery and Electrofulguration: For the treatment of comedones that do not improve with standard treatment
  • Light therapy: To deliver certain specific wavelengths of light to an acne affected area of the skin
  • Dermabrasion: To minimize the appearance of superficial atrophic scars of the boxcar and rolling varieties
  • Microneedling: To minimize the appearance of atrophic acne scars in people with darker skin color
  • Subcision: To treat superficial atrophic acne scars
  • Chemical peels: To minimize the appearance of acne scars

Self-care for Acne

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Acne:
  • Use gentle cleanser: Wash your face with your hands with a mild soap and warm water twice a day
  • Try over-the-counter acne products: To dry excess oil and promote peeling try products containing resorcinol, sulfur, or salicylic acid to dry extra oil from the skin
  • Avoid certain irritants: Do not use greasy or oily cosmetics, sunscreens, acne concealers or hair styling products
  • Use an oil-free moisturizer: Regularly use a non-oily sunscreen moisturizer
  • Watch what touches your skin: Keep your hair clean and off from your face

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Acne

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Acne:
  • Use topical tea tree oil: Reduces the total number of skin lesions
  • Use green tea extract: To reduce mild to moderate acne
  • Use Brewer's yeast: To reduce acne

Patient Support for Treatment of Acne

The following actions may help Acne patients:
  • Boost confidence in patient: Support and build confidence in patients with acne

Time for Treatment of Acne

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Acne to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Acne.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa

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