Myths about acne are as common as the skin problem itself. One common myth about it is that you have to let acne run its' course naturally, and that only the passage of time will clear it up. However, dermatologists know that letting acne runs its' course is not always the best advice. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. Although it is common, accurate information about acne can be scarce. This can make it difficult to get clearer skin.
Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes spots and pimples, especially on the face, shoulders, back, neck, chest, and upper arms, though it may occur almost anywhere on the body. Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules are all types of acne. It is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting up to 50 million Americans yearly. It commonly occurs during puberty, when the sebaceous glands activate, but it can occur at any age. It is not dangerous, but it can leave skin scars. The glands produce oil and are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands in both males and females.
At least 85 percent of people in the U.S. experience acne between the ages of 12 and 24 years. Pimples form when hair follicles under your skin clog up. Most pimples form on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Anyone can get acne, but it is common in teenagers and young adults. It is not serious, but it can cause scars. No one knows exactly what causes acne. Hormone changes, such as those during the teenage years and pregnancy, probably play a role.
Though it is often portrayed as a scourge of the teen years, acne can affect people of all ages. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 have outbreaks of the skin disorder at some point. "Many see their acne go away by the time they reach their 30s," says Jane Liedtka, a medical officer at the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). "But for some, acne persists into their 40s and 50s."
Acne is common and is usually treatable. You may need acne treatment for several months to clear blemishes. Inflamed acne needs to be treated early to prevent scarring. Once the spots are gone, you may need maintenance treatment for several years to keep the blemishes away. Blemishes just like acne can ruin one’s appearance resulting in lowering the confidence of a person. Blemishes refer to dark marks or skin discoloration left behind due to acne whiteheads, blackheads or pimples. They usually develop on the face, back, chest or upper arms but generally can spread on any part of the body with hair follicles or pores.
While many associate acne with teenagers, it can occur in adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, even older, and most often appearances on the face, back, chest, neck and shoulders. Acne affects both men and women and can range in intensity from a few small blemishes to severe cases requiring monitored medication. Fortunately, virtually every case of acne can be lessened and/or resolved.
Advances in topically applied medications have been made in recent years allowing better control of acne with fewer side effects such as dryness and flaking that were seen in the past. Additionally, a variety of lasers, light sources and other progressive treatments are offered to complement your treatment regimen and to correct the appearance of the skin once the acne has been cleared.