Facial Acne: The Most Common Dermatological Complaint
Facial acne has always troubled our teenage years. Just at the time that one becomes more conscious of social behavior and physical appearance, our face betrays us by breaking out in acne.
And it’s not only the face. Acne often appears on the chest and back as well. No wonder that some teenagers try to avoid the beach or the hot tub.
Because facial acne appears during the teenage years, many people believe that the teenage lifestyle causes acne. Too much salt, too much sugar, too many greasy hamburgers may not be healthy, but they don’t cause acne.
Face acne is caused by plugged skin pores. Sebaceous oil, secreted by the sebaceous glands at the base of hair follicles, is a natural and necessary secretion of our bodies. The glands become very active when we reach puberty. Hair follicles begin producing individual hairs that must find their way to the surface of the skin. But the path to the surface isn’t always open. When the oil is stopped just under the skin, it forms a whitehead. In a deeper layer, it is not quickly noticed until it changes color and reveals itself as a blackhead. Deeper still, the clogged pore develops a cyst.
Once clogged, the pores become a haven for normally harmless bacteria that always exist on our skin. The bacteria quickly multiply, causing infection. Squeezing the whiteheads and blackheads can spread this infection and create the red rash often associated with face acne.
Almost everyone suffers from some degree of acne, which can range from mild to severe. More severe face acne can leave small acne scars or lesions on the cheeks, chin, forehead or nose. Though most cases of facial acne disappear as we get older, the scars remain.
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