This is a condition in which the pores, or openings, in the skin are blocked with oil, dirt and bacteria.
Acne is the development of whiteheads, blackheads, or raised red spots on the skin. These occur when the pores, or holes in the skin, become blocked with a plug made up of excessive oil, dirt, and bacteria. If the top of the plug is white, it's called a whitehead; if it is black, it's called a blackhead. Sometimes the plug opens, which allows the oil and bacteria to spread. This can lead to additional redness and swelling. If the plug goes deep into the skin, then painful, inflamed pockets (cysts) can form.
Acne can be caused or triggered by many things; some of the more common causes and triggers are:
Some of the more common signs and symptoms of acne include:
Before you see a healthcare provider for your acne, there are some things you can try at home. These include washing your skin with a mild soap that doesn't dry the skin, especially after exercise or excessive sweating; keeping your hair clean and away from your face; and using over-the-counter acne medications that can kill bacteria and remove excess oil.
If your acne persists, you may need to see a healthcare provider for a treatment plan that often includes both over-the-counter and prescription medications. The latter may include antibiotics or special solutions that contain antibiotics or retinoic acid.
While acne can go away with self-care, there may be times you need to see a healthcare provider for further treatment. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you've had them.
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