Acne is a prevalent and persistent skin condition that affects the sebaceous glands and hair follicles, resulting in follicular enlargement and blockage, leading to inflammation. Although acne can affect individuals of any age, it is most commonly observed in young adults. The underlying causes of acne are multifactorial, including family history, hormonal imbalances, acne bacteria, and hair follicle occlusion. Additionally, certain factors such as PCOS, certain medications, occlusive cosmetic products, and a diet high in dairy and sugar can trigger acne flares in patients.
Acne lesions are typically found on the face, but they can also appear on the neck, back, and chest. These lesions may present as blackheads, whiteheads, or inflamed pustules, and severe cases may result in the formation of nodules and cysts. Acne can also lead to hyperpigmentation and scarring.
Diagnosis of acne can often be made through observation, but skin swabs or hormonal blood work may be necessary in atypical cases. Treatment options for acne include topical creams and gels such as retinoids, medicated washes, and oral contraceptives, as well as antibiotics and oral retinoids in severe cases.