• The cause of acne is complex. The interaction between hormones, keratinization, sebum and bacteria determines the course and severity acne.
  • It usually affects the face, back and chest and is characterized by the presence of blackheads, pustules and, in more severe cases, cysts and scars.
  • Acne most commonly occurs from the onset of puberty up until about 20 years, although it may occur in adults.
  • For treatment purposes, acne is best classified into superficial or deep acne, according to the severity of the condition. Usually acne does not require treatment, but how long it lasts before it clears up cannot be predicted.
  • Healing without scars usually occurs in superficial acne but scarring is frequent in deep acne.
  • Acne is usually more severe during the winter and improves in summer, probably due to the beneficial effect of the sun.
  • Diet appears to have little effect. However, if a food is suspected of making the acne worse, it should be avoided.
  • Acne may cycle with the menstrual cycle and it may clear or become worse during pregnancy.
  • Misconceptions about the relationship between acne and diet, athletics or sex are common and these myths should be discussed with a doctor or health practitioner.
  • Women who first develop acne in their 20s and 30s may find that certain cosmetics are the aggravating agent.

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