Acne is one of the most common skin conditions and it affects almost 80 percent of the population at some point in their lives. Acne is prevalent amongst teenagers and a common by-product of puberty.
Causes of acne
Many people think diet and poor hygiene cause acne but research has failed to establish a link between these lifestyle choices and the development of acne; acne is in fact triggered by hormonal changes which are usually brought about by puberty. The increase in testosterone in the body, in both males and females, means the skin produces a greater quantity of a chemical known as sebum; this can cause the follicles in the skin to become blocked, which leads to spots.
Symptoms of acne
Acne is usually easily identified because it causes patches of spots; these usually occur on the face but may also develop on the back, neck and chest. Acne does not just involve small red spots but also includes blackheads, pustules, cysts and whiteheads.
Acne can usually be treated with antibiotic creams and lotions; in more severe cases, these creams may also be combined with antibiotic tablets. Severe cases of acne may be referred to a dermatologist for treatment.
Acne can leave permanent scarring; this usually occurs as a result of cysts bursting or when people scratch their spots. Scarring from acne can be very visible and it can affect a person’s self-confidence; scarring can be treated by cosmetic surgeons using laser technology or dermabrasion techniques, but these are usually expensive treatments.