Acne is the most frequent skin condition in the United States. Acne appears via pimples on the face, back and chest. Every year, about 80% of adolescents have some form of acne and about 5% of adults experience acne.
There are two types of Acne blemishes:
• Whiteheads/Blackheads are non-inflammatory and appear more on the face and shoulders. As long as they remain uninfected, they are unlikely to lead to scarring.
• Red Pustules or Papules are inflamed pores that fill with pus. These can lead to scarring.
In normal skin, oil glands under the skin, known as sebaceous glands, produce an oily substance called sebum. The sebum moves from the bottom to the top of each hair follicle and then spills out onto the surface of the skin, taking with it sloughed-off skin cells. With acne, the structure through which the sebum flows gets plugged up. This blockage traps sebum and sloughed-off cells below the skin, preventing them from being released onto the skin’s surface. If the pore’s opening is blocked, this produces a whitehead. If the pore’s opening is open, this produces blackheads. When a whitehead or blackhead becomes inflamed, they can become red pustules or papules.
It is important for patients not to pick or scratch at lesions because it can lead to scarring.
Treating acne is a relatively slow process; there is no overnight remedy. Some treatments include:
• Oral and Topical Antibiotics — Used to treat any infection in the pores.