3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Acne
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions


Alternate Names : Acne Vulgaris, Pimples

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Acne is a common skin condition in which the hair follicles become clogged with sebum. The hair follicles are the openings around the hair shaft, and sebum is the oil produced by the glands within the follicle. The clogged follicles cause pimples and inflamed infected abscesses, or collections of pus.

What is going on in the body?

Acne tends to develop in teenagers because of an interaction among hormones, sebum, and bacteria. During puberty, the glands in the skin produce excessive sebum. In acne-prone skin, the sebum and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles and form comedones, or clogged pores.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Acne is caused by 4 factors:

  • hormones, particularly the hormone called androgen
  • increased production of sebum, the oily substance within the hair follicles
  • changes in the lining of the hair follicles
  • bacteria, including organisms that normally live on the skin surface. When these bacteria are trapped within the hair follicles, they can cause infections and inflame the follicles.
  • Virtually every adolescent experiences some comedones. Generally, acne starts at about age 10 to 13, and lasts for 5 to 10 years. Around the age of 14 or 15, 40% of adolescents have acne that is serious enough to require a visit to a healthcare provider. Acne occurs in both male and female adolescents, but males are more likely to have a severe form of acne. Some people develop acne for the first time as an adult.

    Certain forms of acne tend to run in families. If an adolescent's parents or older siblings have severe acne, the adolescent has a higher risk of developing severe acne.

    Risk factors for development or worsening of acne include the following:

  • makeup and skin care products, which can clog the hair follicles
  • menstrual cycles in females. A female is more likely to have flare-ups of acne around the time of her period, when her glands are more sensitive to the hormone androgen.
  • airborne grease, such as in a fast-food restaurant
  • routine exposure to products, such as motor oil in an automotive shop
  • rubbing and friction of the skin by hair, clothing, or sporting equipment


    Next section


    Acne: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Lynn West, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

    \"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

    Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site