Acne occurs when the follicles in the areas of the skin that produce oil, or sebum, become clogged. Once the follicle becomes clogged with too much oil, bacteria infects the pore. The resulting inflammation causes pimples to form. Acne can range from mild to extreme and can form on the face, neck, chest, back, and shoulders. A number of factors can contribute to causing or aggravating acne including medications, stress, dairy, and carbohydrate rich foods. Any change in hormones due to pregnancy or menstruation in women, or puberty for young adults, can trigger excess oil secretion and acne may form.
Most cases of acne fit into three categories: comedonal, inflammatory, and cystic. Mild acne can be treated with over-the-counter medications. For more serious conditions, like inflammatory or cystic acne, a doctor may need to prescribe stronger medications such as topical applications, retinoids, or antibiotics. Oral antibiotics, such as doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline, or erythromycin, kill the bacteria that is causing the inflammation. Topical and antibiotic treatments are often combined to get the best results.
Acne scars are the result of a pimple, cyst, or lesion. Once a pimple surfaces on the skin it can leave pitting in the skin that may or may not cause discoloration. Types of treatment vary.
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