What is Acne?

Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/acne-pores-skin-pimple-female-1606765/

Acne is one of the most omnipresent skin conditions and it affects almost 80% of teens and young adults. Overproduction of sebum due to hormonal changes is the reason for the higher incidence among adolescent.

When hair follicles become clogged by shed skin cells and sebum that causes comedones, ACNE may occur. There are two forms of comedones, whitehead and blackhead. Whiteheads are covered by skin while blackheads are exposed to the air causing the lipids in the clogged follicle to oxidize, thus it forms in black color.

Propionibacterium acnes is a gram-positive bacteria found in the skin that can infect comedones. It consume components of sebum. The bacteria secrete enzyme that causes damage to the hair follicle, causing lesions that may include nodules, pustules, papules, or pseudocysts.

Treatment of acne is dependent on the seriousness of the case. Acne severity are graded in multiple ways, but three levels are usually considered – comedone amount, inflammatory lesion amount, and the types of lesions. Salicylic acid may help treat mild acne by removing old skin cells. Retinoids can also help by reducing the inflammation. Moderate acne may be treated with erythromycin, clindamycin, benzoyl peroxide, and hormones. Severe acne requires strong treatment such as isotretinoin which reduces oil buildup, but it has serious side effects including photosensitivity. Other possible treatments include phototherapy (the use of light) and laser therapy to eliminate bacteria and reduce the production of oil.


OpenStax Microbiology. Acne. Accessed November 25, 2019


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