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Acne – the most common skin problem

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What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition experienced by nearly all adults at some stage in their lives to varying degrees of severity. Pus-filled lumps, commonly referred to as pimples, appear on the surface of the skin as a result of a blocked up hair follicle (or pore). Sebum, the oil naturally produced by skin, becomes trapped in the follicle and bacteria begin to grow, causing inflammation and producing pus.

Pimples take on many different forms, as listed by acne.org, including:

What causes it and who gets it?

Though the exact cause is unclear, experts have found a link between acne and a hormone called androgen. Levels of androgen rise during puberty and stimulate the growth of oil glands under the skin, Medical News Today reports. The excess sebum causes pores to block up and become inflamed. This is thought to be why acne is most prevalent in people between the ages of 11 and 30. The condition affects both men and women, though the former are more likely to experience longer lasting and more severe bouts, according to Skincare Physicians.

What treatments are there?

Though acne often goes away on its own, there are many different types of medication to treat more severe and persistent cases including antibiotics and retinoids. Milder bouts are most commonly treated with benzoyl peroxide, which kills bacteria and slows down oil production.

The contraceptive pill has also been known to help women against acne as it balances out hormone levels.

There are ways of diminishing the risk of getting pimples in non-severe cases. Medical News Today offers certain guidelines:

Actress Cameron Diaz and singer Jessica Simpson are known to have battled with acne.

Celebrities suffering from other skin conditions include British singer Seal, who suffers from lupus and LeAnn Rimes, who has eczema.

Images: Wikimedia

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