Acne is a common skin condition affecting millions of people worldwide and people of all ages and backgrounds. Acne affects up to 40-50 million Americans annually, making it one of the prevalent skin conditions in the country. It can develop at any age, but most commonly affects during teenage (puberty), adolescence, and around menopause in females. It affects both men and women, but may be more severe in men.
Dealing with acne can be frustrating and even debilitating whether you’re a teenager or an adult. It can cause low self-esteem, social anxiety, and severe scarring. But what exactly is acne, and why does it happen?
What Is Acne?
Acne develops when hair follicles (deep in the skin) become clogged with debris, oil (sebum), or dead skin cells. It commonly presents in the form of small pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads to large nodules and cysts on the face, neck, chest, and back. (1)
Hormonal changes, genetics, certain medications, and lifestyle factors such as diet and stress can cause it. It is most common during adolescence but can affect people of all ages. While it is not a severe medical condition, it can cause emotional distress and lead to scarring if left untreated. Treatment options include topical and oral medications, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, professional skincare procedures.