Acne develops when dead skin cells and natural oils block the pores in the skin. This results in the classic symptoms: blackheads, pimples or pustules, nodules, changes in skin pigment and scars. Although anyone can experience this condition – even babies – it is most often found in teenagers and adult women and tends to be genetically inherited.
Types of Acne
There are three types of acne. The first of which, acne vulgaris – also known as common acne – is the skin disease most seen by doctors around the world. It is associated with persistent pustules, cysts and nodules that can affect the shape of the face, chest, back or upper arms and may result in life-long scars. The other two types – acne conglobata and acne fulminans – are more severe forms of the disorder, causing high fevers and internal disease. All forms of acne can cause anxiety and emotional and psychological trauma, including depression and suicide.
Exactly what triggers an acne outbreak is not known, but several possibilities include:
- Hormonal changes related to puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, birth control pills or stress
- Greasy or oily cosmetic and hair products
- Certain drugs, such as steroids, testosterone, estrogen and phenytoin
- Consuming whey protein supplements, large quantities of skim milk products or junk food
Learn about acne treatments available at Atlantic Health System's Acne Treatment and Research Center >