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Acne: Acne or pimples, are the terms used to describe
a most common skin condition of an inflammatory nature. Acne is caused
by the plugging up of the skin pores. Acne and pimples, are most
common in adolescent boys, and can occur in both sexes. Acne usually
begins at the beginning of puberty, or at a time when the hormonal glands
are active, such as in pregnancy, and before menstruation. Acne is
cause when the sebaceous glands within the hair follicles, or pores become
plugged, The plug can cause the follicle to bulge causing what is called
white heads, and if the top of the bulge becomes dark, it is known as Black
heads. If the plug grows in size, it can cause the wall of the follicle
to rupture, and normal bacteria and dead skin cells along with oil, can
enter The skin and form a small infected area called, pustules, also known
as pimples or zits. If the infected area lies deep within the skin,
they may become large enough to form cysts.

Cysts: Cysts are formed when oil underneath the follicle
continues to grow and fill the affected area resulting in a soft
raised area of the skin (a lump). cysts are not usually painful or discolored
unless they become infected.

Acne is not contagious, and is not caused by dirt or other external
factors. Although dirt and oil left on the face can contribute
to Acne. Acne is considered a hormonal disorder, and is considered
to be a hereditary disorder. In the severe forms of acne cysts or absecess,
scars can be produced.

Acne Vulgaris affects 85% of the population who are between the ages
of 12 and 25. It occurs primarily on the face, chest, and upper back.
The cause is unknown, but there is a genetic factor. That is, the
chance of getting it, and the severity tends to run in some families. Males and females get it at the same rate,
however males tend to have more severe cases. This is because testosterone
(male hormone) increases and estrogen (female hormone) decreases the amount
of sebum (a fatty secretion of glands or sacs into the pore) produced.
Factors that increase the chance of having acne are, thickening of the
skin around pores, increased production of sebum and increased number of
a specific bacteria (Propionibacterium acne’s) on the skin. Acne
begins in the pores of the affected of skin. Sebum fills the pore.

Again: There are two major types. In the first type, the
sebum remains in the pore, and is called noninflamitory acne. If
it remains open it is referred to as a blackhead. If it is closed
it is called a white head. The second, referred to as inflammatory, the
sebum remains in the skin pore, and the walls of the pore begin to thin
and break down. When the sebum and bacteria enter the surrounding
tissue it becomes inflamed ( red, swollen, and painful) and infected (bacteria
growing in the tissue). If this happens close to the surface of
the skin, it can cause severe scarring. If it occurs deeper in the
skin, (areas the body has walled off from the surrounding tissue,
in an effort to stop the the bacteria from spreading) abscess and cysts
may occur.


Acne tends to get better during the summer. This may be due to
exposure to the sun.

Antibiotics applied directly to the affected area, and over-the-counter
medications containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and/or tretinoin. These are considered the first line of defense, and
used before moving on to oral (taken by mouth) antibiotics, sex hormones, and others.

Some severe cases can be helped by surgery.