Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It causes whiteheads, blackheads, pustules or papules. Acne is most common during teenage years, although it can also develop later in life.
Depending on its severity, acne can cause scarring, which can be quite distressing. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of long-term scarring.
Acne can be persistent. Thankfully, effective treatments are available.
How do I know I have acne?
Acne signs vary depending on severity and include:
- whiteheads (closed, plugged pores)
- blackheads (open, plugged pores)
- pimples (papules with pus at the tips)
- papules (small, red, tender bumps)
- nodules (large, solid, painful lumps under your skin)
- cystic lesions (painful, pus-filled lumps under the skin)
Acne usually appears on your face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by:
- excess oil (sebum) production
- hair follicles clogged by oil and dead skin cells
What triggers or makes acne worse?
Normal hormonal changes (especially during the teenage years), certain medications, diet and stress can make acne worse.