A Patient's Guide to Acne
Home About Acne Acne Treatment Acne Skin Care Pictures of Acne Acne Videos & Articles
acne basics and facts

Acne Basics

Acne is the most common skin problem that dermatologists see. In fact, it affects nearly everyone, and most commonly teenagers. While acne is not a life-threatening disease, it is a very visible skin problem that can cause embarrassment and social anxiety. As is the case with many skin diseases, there is a social and psychological element that must be taken into consideration. In particular, it is most prevalent in teenagers, who are often very sensitive to these problems. Severe acne can also result in permanent scars if they are not treated carefully, and thus, concerns about acne should be taken seriously.

Types of Acne

Comedones, more commonly known as blackheads and whiteheads are yellow or black bumps. Blackheads in particular, on first appearance, resemble dirt. They are caused by blocked pores, and the color is the result of oxidized sebum, which is the natural oil that occurs in the glands. It is not, as commonly believed, a result of poor hygiene.

Papules, which are commonly known as zits or pimples, occur when comedones become inflamed. They tend to be larger in size, and will often be sensitive to touch, causing pain or discomfort when pressure is applied to it.

Nodules are large bumps which originate in the deeper levels of the skin. This type of lesion occurs in those with severe acne. As nodules affect the deeper layers of the skin, they often result in permanent scarring.

Who does acne affect?

Acne is the most common skin problem, and is near universal. Acne is often stereotyped as a teenage boy's problem. The idea that acne is a teenage boy's disease is definitely grounded in some truth. Acne does, in fact, affect teenagers most often, as testosterone levels are typically very high at that age, and teenage boys are affected most often. Boys also tend to be affected more severely than women at this age. On the other hand, the idea that it's exclusively a teenage boy's disease is misleading in many ways. Acne affects women too, but its patterns differ. Girls often get acne earlier before reaching puberty, and later, tend to suffer from adult acne at a higher proportion compared to men.

Where does acne develop?

Acne can develop in any area where there are sebaceous glands are concentrated. This is why acne tends to be concentrated on the face, back, and the chest. However, they can also occur in other areas such as the arms and the legs.

Back to What is Acne? Index   |   Top

comments powered by Disqus