Acne is the medical term used for a number of skin irritations that vary in severity, including blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and pustules. Acne may form on your face, neck, shoulders, or other areas when sebum combines with dead skin cells to clog pores. This mixture of oil and cells allows P. acnes bacteria to grow in the plugged follicles, resulting in a visible blemish.
Acne is most common in puberty, but it can affect adults as well. The tendency to experience acne is partially hereditary, with males being more likely to have severe acne problems than females. Untreated acne can lead to scarring, causing reduced self-esteem and problems with depression.
There are many myths surrounding acne. Sugar, milk, chocolate, and oil do not cause acne. Drugs used to treat extreme stress and anxiety may aggravate acne problems, but stress itself does not cause acne. A tan may temporarily minimize the appearance of acne, but will often result in additional skin problems during the weeks that follow the sun exposure. Poor hygiene does not contribute to acne, but scrubbing your face with harsh cleansers can aggravate the condition.
If you've been searching for the solution to your acne problem, it is important to select a treatment product with the lowest possible incidence of skin irritation. If you have sensitive skin, your acne treatment products should be dermatologist-approved. The most common active ingredient in non-prescription acne treatments is Benzyl Peroxide, but time-released Salicylic Acid is a gentler alternative that is less likely to cause irritation.
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