Acne is a common inflammatory condition of the skin that is caused by clogged hair follicles under the skin. Dead skin cells and sebum (oil) plug the pores and lead to outbreaks of lesions, or what is more frequently referred to as pimples or zits. These outbreaks can occur on the face, chest, shoulders and back. About 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 will have at least mild acne, but it can affect people of any age. Most people will experience some form of acne at some point in their lives.
Family history, hormones, age and medication can all increase the risk of developing acne. Androgen hormones, which become active during the teenage and young adult years, are strong drivers of acne, which is why it is sometimes considered to be a condition that only affects teenagers and young adults.
There are different types of acne, which are characterized by the appearance of the lesions. Blackheads, pustules, whiteheads, papules, fungal acne, cysts and nodules are all different types of acne.
Acne is typically diagnosed by a healthcare provider during a skin exam, and dermatologists rank acne according to severity on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the most severe.
In treating acne, the goal is to stop new lesions from forming, heal existing lesions, and prevent scarring. There are numerous topical (applied to the skin) medications that can be used to treat acne, such as azelaic acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, sulfur, retinoids, and resorcinol. Doctors will sometimes provide forms of these medications orally (by mouth) along with or instead of topical formulas. Oral contraceptives (birth control pills) or a medication called spironolactone can also be prescribed to help women who suffer with acne related to the menstrual cycle. Lasers and chemical peels may also be used to help treat severe acne and/or to address scarring caused by acne.
Having acne can be stressful and it can cause people to feel embarrassed or shy about their appearance. Bio-Touch is a gentle yet powerful technique that has been shown to help reduce stress. It is complementary to other acne treatments and is easy to learn.
The information presented in this workbook is for educational purposes only. Medical advice is neither offered nor implied. Please consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.