Acne vulgaris is a disorder of the oil glands in the skin that results in comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), pustules, and cysts. It usually occurs on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and upper arms. Acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, with nearly 85% of the population having acne at some point in their lives. Acne usually begins during puberty, but it can affect any age. Causes of acne include heredity, hormones, and stress.
Treatment for acne aims to reduce oil production and increase the speed of skin cell turnover to prevent new blemishes from developing, and to reduce inflammation to help treat current symptoms. This can be done through a combination of topical treatment, antibiotics, isotretinoin or oral contraceptives. These treatment methods can take up to eight weeks before results are visible, and acne may get worse before getting better.
Certain procedures may be recommended to treat scarring caused by acne. These procedures may include skin fillers, chemical peels, laser treatment and others. Many patients experience effective results from several treatment sessions and can enjoy smooth, clear skin after acne.