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Acne Center - Acne Vulgaris

What is acne? Over eighty percent of Americans between the ages of twelve and twenty-four suffer from acne. Although both genders are affected, many more men than women suffer from the disorder.

Detailed Information
  • Acne occurs when oil becomes trapped in the hair follicles or sebaceous glands. These glands can be found on the face, shoulders, chest and back and become inflamed as the trapped oils allow bacteria to multiply and infect the skin.
  • Whiteheads appear when, below the surface, the hair shafts fill with sebum (oily agent that lubricates the skin). These whiteheads can build up over an area and then cause a break out.
  • Blackheads develop when a skin pigment mixes with sebum and plugs up the skin pores, appearing as a "black" spot on the skin.
  • Teenagers are most likely to have acne, because high levels of testosterone and androgen hormones are present (in girls, it is just androgen) and stimulate keratin and sebum production.

References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health.

last update: December 2008

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this material to diagnose or treat a health condition or disease without consulting with your healthcare provider.
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