Acne is a disease of the hair follicles of the face, chest, and back that affects almost all males and females during puberty. It is not unusual for some women to develop acne in their mid-to-late-20s. Acne affects nearly 100% of the population at some point. For some acne is mile and transient; for others, it can be severe and long lasting. Scarring from severe acne can be permanent and disfiguring.
Acne is not caused by bacteria, although bacteria play a role in its development. Acne lesions form when the opening of oil glands in the skin becomes blocked. Trapped oil builds up within the gland causing inflammation. Associated hair follicles become blocked and gradually enlarge. A bump is produced which can rupture, allowing irritating substances and normal skin bacteria access into deeper layers of the skin. The inflammation appears on the skin as congested pores, (also known as blackheads or white heads), tender red bumps (also known as pimples or zits), pustules, and occasionally as cysts or boils.
Treatment for acne has improved dramatically in the last two decades. With the development of new cosmetic treatment modalities such as lasers and light therapy, new acne treatments have also been developed.