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What Acne Is And What Causes It

Jan 22, 2008
Acne is a common skin condition which most often occurs during the teenage years. It's more commonly known as "pimples" or "zits" and usually appears on the face. Other parts of the body can be affected however, such as the back, neck and shoulders.

In spite of being considered a teenage problem, it can affect adults as well. And it has no boundaries - men and women are affected equally, as are all races, creeds and colors.

The full name for acne is Acne Vulgaris. The visible symptoms are lesions that break out on the skin. These lesions may be whiteheads, blackheads or cysts which are formed out of clogged pores.

Teenagers are most commonly affected because their bodies produce a larger amount of sebum - an oily substance that helps keep skin and hair soft and lubricated. Because it is often overproduced during puberty, it can lead to clogged pores. It also sometimes leaves the skin feeling oily to the touch.

Another change during puberty that can result in acne is a higher production of follicle cells. As these cells die, they can build up quite quickly and when combined with sebum, they'll lead to whiteheads.

This mixture provides a breeding ground for bacteria - resulting in the swelling and redness commonly called pimples.

Roughly 85% of people from 12 to 24 years old are affected by acne. About 25% of those people develop acne in places other than their face, usually their neck and back. 40% of the people who deal with acne wind up seeking medical treatment to help with serious outbreaks.

On the face, the most commonly affected area is known as the "T Zone" - the forehead, nose and chin. It does affect other parts of the face sometimes, such as the cheeks.

The back is the next most commonly affected part of the body, followed by the shoulders, neck and chest.

Most people's acne clears up by the time they are in their 20's but in some cases it can continue throughout adulthood. Some people even have the first appearance after they are adults.
About the Author
Fed up with your acne? Learn some simple pimple remedies on the AcneSquad.com website, where you'll also learn which are the best acne treatments. Visit http://www.acnesquad.com for more helpful tips.
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