Acne vulgaris; Cystic acne; Pimples; Zits
Acne is a skin condition that causes whiteheads, blackheads, and inflamed red growths (papules, pustules, and cysts) to form. These growths are commonly called pimples or "zits."
Acne occurs when tiny holes on the surface of the skin, called pores, become clogged.
Acne is a problem of swelling and inflammation, not a problem caused by bacteria.
Acne is most common in teenagers, but it can happen at any age, even in an infant. Three out of four teenagers have some acne. Hormonal changes probably cause increased oil in the skin. However, people in their 30s and 40s may also have acne.
Acne tends to run in families and can be triggered by:
Despite the popular belief that chocolate, nuts, and greasy foods cause acne, research does not confirm this idea. Diets high in refined sugars may be related to acne, though.
Acne, rosacea, and related disorders. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 7.
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