What Is Acne and What Causes It?
There’s a reason it’s called “common acne” — nearly everyone suffers from a pimple outbreak at some point in life.
It starts when greasy secretions from the skin’s sebaceous glands plug the tiny openings for hair follicles. If the openings are large, the clogs take the form of blackheads: small, flat spots with dark centers. If the openings stay small, the clogs take the form of whiteheads: small, flesh-colored bumps.
Pores become clogged if there is too much sebum and too many dead skin cells. Bacteria (especially one called Propionibacterium acnes) can then get trapped inside the pores and multiply. This causes swelling and redness — the start of acne.
Clogged pores that open up very deep in the skin can cause nodules, which are infected lumps or cysts that are bigger than pimples and can be painful. Occasionally, large cysts that seem like acne may be boils caused by a staph infection.
Although acne remains largely a curse of adolescence, about 20% of all cases occur in adults. Acne commonly starts during puberty between the ages of 10 and 13 and tends to be worse in people with oily skin. Teenage acne usually lasts for five to 10 years, normally going away during the early 20s. It occurs in both sexes, although teenage boys tend to have the most severe cases. Women are more likely than men to have mild to moderate forms into their 30s and beyond.
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Source: kidshealth.org /WedMD