What Causes Acne? Your skin has tiny holes called pores, which can become blocked by oil, bacteria, dead skin cells, and dirt. When this occurs, you may develop a pimple or “zit.” If your skin is repeatedly affected by this condition, you may have acne. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Although acne isn’t a life-threatening condition, it can be painful, particularly when it’s severe. It can also cause emotional distress. Acne that appears on your face can impact your self-esteem and, over time, may cause permanent physical scarring. There are many effective treatments for acne that reduce both the number of pimples you get and your chance of scarring. What Are the Symptoms of Acne? Acne can be found almost anywhere on your body. It most commonly develops on your face, back, neck, chest, and shoulders. If you have acne, you will typically notice pimples that are white or black in appearance. Both blackheads and whiteheads are known as comedones. Blackheads open at the surface of your skin, giving them a black appearance due to the effect of oxygen in the air. Whiteheads are closed just under the surface of your skin, giving them a white appearance. While whiteheads and blackheads are the most common lesions seen in acne, other types can also occur. Inflammatory lesions are more likely to cause scarring of your skin: Papules are small red, raised bumps caused by inflamed or infected hair follicles. Pustules are small red pimples that have pus at their tips. Nodules are solid, often painful lumps beneath the surface of your skin. Cysts are large lumps found beneath your skin that contain pus and are usually painful. What Causes Acne? Acne occurs when the pores on your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria. Each pore on your skin is the opening to a follicle. The follicle is made up of a hair and a sebaceous (oil) gland. The oil gland releases sebum (oil), which travels up the hair, out of the pore, and onto your skin. The sebum keeps your skin lubricated and soft. Acne can be caused by one or more problems in this lubrication process. It can occur when: too much oil is produced by your follicles dead skin cells accumulate in your pores bacteria builds up in your pores All of these problems contribute to the development of pimples. A zit appears when bacteria grows in a clogged pore and the oil is unable to escape. What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Acne? Myths about what contributes to acne are quite common. Many people believe that foods such as chocolate or French fries will contribute to acne. While there’s no scientific support for these claims, there are certain risk factors for developing acne. These include: hormonal changes caused by puberty or pregnancy certain medications, such as certain birth control pills or corticosteroids a diet high in refined sugars or carbohydrates, such as bread and chips having parents who had acne Young people are most at risk for developing acne during puberty. During this time, your body undergoes drastic hormonal changes. These changes can trigger oil production, leading to an increased risk of acne. Hormonal acne related to puberty usually subsides or at least improves when you reach adulthood. How Is Acne Diagnosed? If you have symptoms of acne, your doctor can confirm your diagnosis by examining your skin. Your doctor will identify the types of lesions and their severity to determine the best treatment. How Is Acne Treated? At-Home Care You can use a number of self-care activities at home to prevent pimples and to clear up your acne. Home remedies for acne include: cleaning your skin daily with a mild soap to remove excess oil and dirt shampooing your hair regularly and keeping it out of your face using makeup that’s water-based or labeled as “noncomedogenic” (not pore-clogging) not squeezing or picking pimples, which spreads bacteria and excess oil not wearing hats or tight headbands not touching your face Medication If self-care activities don’t help with your acne, a number of over-the-counter acne medications are available. Most of these medications contain ingredients that can help kill bacteria, open pores, or reduce oil on your skin. Source :healthline com
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