Acne is a common skin disease that can occur on many areas
of the body and can develop at any age. Face acne is very common, but chest acne and back acne, as well as acne on
the scalp, neck, shoulders, and upper arms is also
ordinary. Likewise, although teen
acne is common, acne can occur at any age. The good news is that with
proper acne treatment and a good skin care regimen,
it can be prevented and controlled.
Acne occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged with oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Acne lesions are commonly referred to as pimples. Excessive secretion of oils from the glands combines with naturally occurring bacteria and dead skin cells to block the hair follicles. Oil secretions build up beneath the blocked pore, providing a perfect environment for the skin bacteria to form the pimple.
Healthy, acne-free skin is clear and smooth on the exterior, with few imperfections. Underneath the surface, healthy skin has clear pores and is relatively bacteria-free. Here is an illustration of a normal follicle that one would expect from healthy skin:
Sometimes, however, the excessive secretion of oils from the sebaceous glands blocks the hair follicles and oil builds up beneath the blocked pore, causing a microcomedone to form. Skin cells become sticky and get clogged in the pore, dead skin cells are shed at the top of the pore, and sebum production is increased. These factors combine and result in the formation of an acne lesion.