Published on December 4th, 2019
Last updated on June 3rd, 2020
Acne is a common type of skin condition that results in red, bumpy, and blotchy skin, and this typically occurs on the face, when hair follicles become clogged with oil or dead skin cells. This process leads to several types of skin problems, including pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads.
While it primarily affects adolescents, the truth is acne can affect people at any age. The symptoms vary quite significantly from person to person. However, they all involve painful or uncomfortable bumps, which can be discomforting to those affected.
Though there are effective treatment plans, acne is known to have the propensity to keep reoccurring in some cases. In such an instance, the painful pimples and papules will slowly heal over time, but the relief is short-lived, as new bumps seem to appear as soon as the older ones start to heal. According to the Global Burden of Disease Project, acne has a global prevalence rate of 9.4%.
Those with mild acne typically experience both whiteheads and blackheads. The difference between them is merely whether or not the pores are open, with blackheads having open pores and whiteheads having them closed. These issues can lead to inflammation when bacteria build-up, causing what is known as inflammatory acne.
When this inflammation persists and gets worse, it can even permanently scar the skin. After puberty, people have a higher amount of the hormone androgen in their system, which increases the skin’s oil production. This oil, also known as sebum, is useful in protecting and moisturizing the skin. However, when pores become blocked with dead skin cells, the sebum builds up and leads to blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.
The most commonly referenced risk factors of acne are things such as diet and not washing properly. However, there is very little scientific evidence supporting either of these theories. Researchers believe that stress, hormones from certain medications, and skin-care products can cause more blocked pores.
Acne is a prevalent condition that is estimated to affect 80–90% of people before they get to 21./ Acne does not only affect teenagers, but it also affects adults. About 40-55% of adults, aged 20-40, have been diagnosed with a type of acne.
As such a common condition, which can scar skin for life, it’s crucial to find new and effective treatments for acne. If you or a loved one is dealing with acne, be sure to consult a doctor before starting any new medications. Especially if your acne is severe, they will provide the most relevant and useful information.