When the hair follicles of the skin become plugged with too much oil, an acne lesion known as a pimple can grow. This pimple is the result of bacteria that infects the pore causing it to become inflamed.
The condition is mostly common among teenagers, but adults well into their later years can be susceptible to acne as well. Any changes in hormones, such as those brought on by pregnancy and menstruation in women, can trigger excess oil and subsequently an acne outbreak. Acne can range from mild to extreme cases. The most common areas affected are the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. Factors such as stress or hormones may play a role in the development of acne. It is a common misconception that foods such as chocolate may be a cause.
Acne treatments vary from person to person and are dependent on which type of acne you may be suffering from. Most cases of acne fit into three categories: comedonal, inflammatory, and cystic. Mild comedonal acne involves blackheads and whiteheads, which occurs because debris blocks the pore. It can usually be treated topically with over-the-counter, non-prescription products. When those methods aren’t effective, a doctor can prescribe retinoids such as Retin-A, Differin, Renova, and Tazorac. Inflammatory or cystic acne, which is caused when the infection travels deep under the surface, can be treated with an oral antibiotic, such as doxycycline, tetracycline, minocycline or erythromycin, to kill the bacteria that are causing the inflammation. These two options of topical and antibiotic treatments, may be combined for best results. You should never squeeze or pick at a pimple as this can lead to further infection and possible scarring. If your acne worsens or grows problematic, consult your doctor to inquire about the best treatment options and schedule a visit.
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