Nearly every teenager experiences some form of acne. It may be mild to severe, and usually lasts for about five years. Acne however is not just limited to teenagers and may occur throughout the adult years.
Acne is a common term for clogged pores, pimples and deeper inflammations under the skin.
Close to 100% of people between ages 12 and 17 experience acne to some extent – though it can occur at any stage of a person’s life.
Acne, although most common on the face may occur in the neck, chest, shoulders, back, scalp, and even upper arms and legs. It can range from mild to very severe, and may result in serious scarring and disfiguration if left untreated.
Usually acne can be managed with over the counter treatments, but some 40% of adolescents have acne severe enough to be treated by a physician. When left untreated, acne may lead to mild to severe scarring and disfigurement.
What Causes Acne?
There are many myths when it comes to Acne. Acne is not caused by poor hygiene. In fact washing your face too much or too vigorously will actually make your acne worse.
Acne is not caused by chocolate, pop, French fries or pizza. In fact extensive studies show there is no connection between acne and diet at all.
Actually, the cause of acne is bacteria, and bacterial toxins, which trigger the body’s defense mechanisms.
Glands within the pores of the skin become clogged, because oil and skin cells accumulate faster than they can exit. The clog causes the hair follicle to bulge, and the area may appear dark. If the clog causes the wall of the follicle to rupture, the oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria normally found on the surface of the skin can enter the skin and form small, infected areas. These areas of infection are known to many as the common acne lesion.
Acne may also cause the formation of cysts. A cyst is larger than other lesions and often goes deep into the skin. Often times a cyst will periodically swell up and become painful until treated by a skin care expert.
What will happen If I do not treat my acne?
Some individuals are lucky enough to have mild acne that can easily be minimized by proper hygiene. However, during the teen years and twenties, most of us may have a difficult time managing our acne without some type of treatment. When left untreated, acne can cause mild to severe scarring that can be left for a lifetime. Fortunately, this type of scarring can often be reduced with the use of lasers and other acne scar treatments; however it is often impossible to return your skin to that perfect pre-acne state.
Treating your Acne
Today there are numerous methods in treating acne from mild to severe. Whether it’s the bi-weekly acne lesion that pops up, or if it’s a full face, chest and back, your skin care specialist will have a solution for you.
Acne may be treated solely with topical medications, combinations of oral antibiotics and topicals, chemical peels, special light treatments, laser and other modalities. Just because one treatment worked on someone you know doesn’t mean it will work for you. You will need to see your skin care expert to find out what is the right treatment in your case.