What is acne?

A Answers (13)

  • Acne is a treatable skin disease of the sebaceous (oil) glands. Hormones stimulate the growth and activity of these glands within hair follicles that release natural oil known as sebum. Increased sebum production supports the proliferation of bacteria, as well as sticky skin cells and plugged pores. These sebum plugs become visible as comodones, or whiteheads or blackheads. If the blocked pores become infected beneath the surface of the skin, a red bump, or pimple develops.

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  • A , Dermatology, answered
    There are two types of acne: comedonal (blackheads or whiteheads) and inflammatory (pimples). Dermatologists diagnose acne as mild, moderate, or severe. (Do not be alarmed if a dermatologist refers to you one or two zits as "acne.". Doctors do not use the term "breakouts," so acne from our perspective does not necessarily mean chronically brokenout, oily skin.) Severe acne can consist of many papules (pimples) and deeper cysts (cystic acne).
  • Acne is a skin condition that includes pimples and cysts found most often on the face, back, and chest. These irritations are caused when dead skin cells, bacteria, and sebum (oil) clog the hair follicles in skin. When the follicles get clogged, sebum can't leave the pores; bacteria multiply and the follicle becomes inflamed, resulting in a pimple or cyst. Acne is quite common, especially in teenagers going through puberty--increased hormone production causes increased sebum production. It can be treated with a variety of medications, including topical and oral antibiotics. Although proper skin care can also help, acne is not caused by poor hygiene.
  • A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered
    Acne is a common skin disorder that occurs in two forms: superficial (acne vulgaris), which affects the hair follicles and oil-secreting glands of the skin and manifests as blackheads, whiteheads, and inflammation, and cystic (acne conglobata), a more severe form, with deep cyst formation and subsequent scarring. In both forms, the lesions occur predominantly on the face and, to a lesser extent, on the back, chest, and shoulders. These areas of the skin have more sebaceous glands that produce sebum, a mixture of oils and a wax that lubricates the skin and prevents the loss of water. 

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  • A , Dermatology, answered
    Acne is an inflammatory skin problem, typically appearing on the face, scalp, neck, shoulders, chest, and back, and characterized by tender pimples, irritated skin, and clogged pores. While there is a genetic link to acne, it is also related to an increase in hormones called androgens (male sex hormones), which increase during puberty and cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sedum. Hormonal changes related to birth control pills and pregnancy can also cause acne. But acne is not just for kids and young adults. More than 40 to 50 million Americans suffer with acne, as the skin disease continues into adulthood, even into the 30s and 40s, affecting both men and women alike.

    One of the many functions of skin, the body’s largest organ, is to help detoxify your body. It’s not surprising that your body’s internal health is often reflected in the skin’s quality and tone. While acne can cause emotional anguish and possibly pitting and scarring of the skin, if you treat the condition quickly, it is rarely serious.
  • A , Dermatology, answered

    Acne is a common skin disease of the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Although it can occur in newborns, children, and adults, it is especially common during adolescence. At puberty, changes occur in the hair follicles, which can lead to clogging of the pores; this causes "blackheads" and "whiteheads" to form. Bacteria and oil (sebum) within the follicles can make the problem worse, resulting in red "pimples" and other inflamed skin lesions.   

  • Acne is an inflammatory disease of the sebaceous glands (oil producing) and hair follicles of the skin that is marked by the eruption of pimples or pustules, especially on the face.

    Acne is considered a normal response to abnormal levels of the male hormone testosterone.

    An increase in oil secretions may build up beneath a blocked pore, allowing bacteria (including Propionibacterium acnes and yeast) to increase in number and cause inflammation.

    More than four out of five people between the ages of 12 and 24 develop acne at least once in their life. It usually affects individuals in puberty, but can affect people of any age.

    Women may experience mild to moderate acne due to hormonal changes associated with feminine health issues, such as pregnancy, menstrual cycles, menopause, or starting/stopping birth control pills.

    Acne may cause scarring, so care should be taken to reduce the chances of this happening, such as using autologus (from patient's body) fat transfer, dermabrasion, collagen injections, laser treatments, and vitamin E oil.

    You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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  • A answered

    Acne results when excess oil from overactive sebaceous glands blocks pores, trapping bacteria, dirt, and dead cells inside. Bacteria proliferate within the blocked pore, leading to an infection.

    There are many types of acne lesions, including blackheads (open comedos), whiteheads (closed comedos), pimples (pustules), and cystic acne.

    Hormone fluctuations that occur with adolescence or pregnancy may aggravate the condition. Acne can appear anywhere on the body, but the condition most commonly appears on areas of the skin that have large pores with abundant, active oil glands such as the face, chest, and back.

  • A , Dermatology, answered
    Acne is a condition that involves the hair follicles and the sebaceous glands that are connected to both the hair follicles and the pores of the skin. The sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oil that is produced to keep your skin soft, smooth, and waterproof. This oil combines with the dead skin cells that the body naturally sloughs off. These skin cells can block the pores and combine with dirt and bacteria, which causes the sebum to be blocked from distribution. The blocked sebum then causes the pores to swell and create a pimple. Just as acne is a problem for teens, adult acne is a problem for men and women, especially during times of hormonal imbalance, like pregnancy or perimenopause.
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  • A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin partially caused by increased sebum production and an abnormality of the bacteria found normally on the skin. The result can be red and enlarged areas on the skin, whiteheads or blackheads.


  • A answered
    Acne is a buildup of oil, microorganisms and dead skin cells in the hair follicles under the skin. When the hair follicle ruptures, the rupture triggers an "acne cascade," which inflames surrounding tissue. Androgens are a major influence on acne because they stimulate the hormone-sensitive sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. That's why you don't see acne before puberty. In women, birth control pills can either aggravate or improve acne. This probably depends on your response to progestin, one of the hormones used in many birth control pills. Greasy hair and skin products, perspiration, headbands and other things that can plug up pores make acne worse. Stress may trigger acne flare-ups. Squeezing pimples can make acne worse and more likely to leave scars.
  • A , Integrative Medicine, answered

    Acne is more commonly know as zits or pimples. Over 85% of teenagers experience some degree of acne. It occurs when pores, which drain the oil producing glands in the skin, get blocked. These plugs form whiteheads (if under the skin) or blackheads (if the plug is visible). When the pore becomes blocked, it may get infected by skin bacteria, causing the red, inflamed pustular acne.

    Acne usually begins along with the increased sex hormone production that accompanies puberty (e.g., DHEA, estrogen and testosterone). These hormones increase the production of skin oils (sebum) and the glands that make them, causing the acne to flare.

    High sugar and carbs in the diet can stimulate increased levels of these hormones and increase acne formation. In addition, scratching or irritating a pimple causes it to get inflamed.

  • A , Dermatology, answered
    The complete medical name for acne is acne vulgaris. Vulgaris is Latin for “common” which aptly describes one of the most frequently diagnosed conditions worldwide. Other names that are often used to describe acne are: pimples, zits, lesions, bumps, breakouts, red spots, clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and rash. Most people who suffer from acne feel that they are alone in their suffering and that no one has it as bad as they. The reality is that acne is a very common and often chronic medical condition of the hair follicles that line the skin and their associated oil-producing glands. It occurs most commonly on the face, especially in the area known as the “T zone,” which includes the forehead, nose, and chin. It can also involve the chest, back, arms, and buttocks. Certain parts of the body (such as the lips) will never get acne because they have no oil-producing glands. 

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This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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