Acne is a skin condition that causes pimples on the face, neck, centre of chest, upper back and shoulders. The signs of acne are blocked pores caused by increased keratin and sebaceous gland secretions. These are seen as blackheads (open comedones) or whiteheads (closed comedones). If they are inflamed they are seen as papules (red bumps) or pustules (red bumps with pus).
The underlying cause of acne is increased production of androgen hormones and increased sensitivity of androgen receptors. Acne-like eruptions may be caused by some medicines. The most common age group affected by acne is the 14 to 19 age group, although people in their 20s and 30s may also have acne, and it can reappear at menopause.
The following statements should clarify some of the common misconceptions about acne.
You can help reduce the severity of acne by:
See your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following apply.
Last Reviewed: 06 June 2002