Acne – The Most Common Skin Disorder In The U.S.

Acne is a skin condition that consists of pimples, deeper bumps (cysts or nodules), and plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and even the upper arms.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that nearly all humans experience at some point in their life.  Most common during adolescence, it can occur at almost any time in a patient’s life.  It is an understatement to say that acne can be devastating to a young person, and early treatment can help the patient control the condition and prevent breakouts.

What causes acne?

Acne has many causes.  Most commonly implicated are hormonal, overactive oil glands, stress, medications, and certain types of bacteria living on the skin. The surrounding skin can become infected and lead to disfiguring scars requiring more advanced cosmetic procedures later in life.

How is acne diagnosed?

Diagnosis is often clinical, with the characteristic whiteheads, blackheads, and oily skin.

What acne treatments are available?

Many treatments for acne exist, and depend on the type of acne, area affected, severity of the condition, and other factors. Some examples include topical cleansers and anti-bacterials. Oral medications such as anti-bacterials, hormonal treatments, and retionoids (Accutane).  Dermabrasion or microdermabrasion may also be used, and some surgical laser procedures may be employed to help with the scarring that results from severe cases of acne.