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What Is Acne?

Though it is commonly believed that acne is something that affects only teenagers,the fact is that acne can affect people of all ages.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says that about 80% of people between 11 and 30 years of age have outbreaks of acne at some point or the other.

According to Jane Liedtka, medical officer, Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) “Many see their acne go away by the time they reach their 30s, but for somepeople the acne persists into their 40s and 50s.”

Fuelled by inflammation of skin glands and of hair follicles, acne presents itself in the form of pimples, large and small, and other lesions on the skin.

Acnne commonly appears on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders.

Although Acne is generally not a serious health concern, it can cause a lot of emotional distress and also permanent scarring of skin.

Clinically, Acne is described as a disease of the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). Found just under the skin, PSUs are numerous on the face, upper back, and chest, and contain sebaceous glands that are connected to hair follicles.

The sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oily substance that empties onto the skin via the hair follicle.

Liedtka explains, “it is known that acne is partly the result of the action of hormones on the skin’s oil glands and the hair follicles,” she says. “The earliest lesion of acne is a plugging of the pores of the skin.”

Factors related to acne formation:

• An increase in sex hormones called androgens that occur in both boys and girls during puberty. These hormones cause the sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum in hair follicles.

• Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, or the begiining of using birth control pills also lead to acne.

• Your genetics too play an important role in whether you will get acne or not.






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