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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is acne?
Acne, also known as vulgaris, is a common skin condition that causes outbreaks of pimples and cysts, mainly on the face, back, arms and chest. Acne occurs when hair follicles in your skin become blocked with oil (sebum) and dead skin cells.
What causes acne?
Acne is caused by the body's natural oil, called sebum, and dead skin cells blocking skin pores. This can result in non-inflammatory acne such as whiteheads and blackheads. Sometimes, inflammation occurs within the blocked pores, which leads to pus-filled pimples, cysts …
What are the signs and symptoms of acne?
Acne causes different types of blemishes and spots depending on the stage and severity of the condition. Symptoms commonly include whiteheads, blackheads, small bumps or pus-filled pimples. In severe cases of acne, cysts or hard nodules may develop …
Why does acne usually affect teenagers?
Male sex hormones, known as androgens, speed up the production of the skins natural oil. For this reason, acne is more common during the teenage years, when hormones are in a state of flux. Despite being classified as male sex hormones, females also …
Is acne hereditary?
Acne is more likely if at least one parent had the condition during adolescence. However, even within the same family, the symptoms may differ in severity. Although genetics are thought to play a role, no specific gene or process for passing on acne has been identified.
Do certain foods make acne worse?
In the past, it was thought that eating greasy foods or chocolate could cause acne, while drinking lots of water could improve symptoms. These theories are now thought to be incorrect.
How is acne treated?
As there is no specific cure for acne, the aim of treatment is to clear blemishes and prevent scarring. If acne is severe, a doctor may provide a referral to see a dermatologist. Treatment options may include good home skincare habits, topical medications, oral …
Will acne come back after treatment?
Acne symptoms often begin to improve within the first month of treatment, but often it may take six weeks or longer for the skin to clear significantly. For this reason, it is important to discuss options with your doctor before giving up or switching …
About this article
Author: Lauren Donley BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 391 (Click smiley face below left to rate)