What is Acne? Definition and Other

Acne is a skin condition characterized by long-term areas of black dots, white spots, pustules, oily skin and the possibility of appearance of scars. Depending on the degree of incidence, infection and size of acne spots on the skin, the consequences in appearance can cause from point discomforts, through anxiety, decreased self-esteem even, in extreme cases, depression and thoughts of suicide.

It is estimated that 80% of the cases are of genetic origin. The role of diet as a cause is still unclear. The hygiene or sunlight seem to have no influence. However, smoking increases the risk of developing acne and its severity. Acne mainly affects the skin with a high number of sebaceous glands, such as the face, upper chest, and back. During puberty, in both sexes, the appearance of acne is often due to the increase in the number of androgens such as testosterone, and also the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes.

Many treatment options are available to improve the appearance of acne, including changes in lifestyle and medication. Eating simple carbohydrates in lesser amounts, such as sugar , may help. The most common treatments are the topical application of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and azelaic acid. Topical and oral antibiotics and retinoids are also available. However, it is possible that they may provoke antibiotic resistance. In women, some combined oral contraceptive pills may be beneficial in treatment. The isotretinoin orally is usually administered only in severe cases because of side effects. Some experts recommend aggressive treatment at an early stage to reduce the long-term impact on the person.

Acne commonly occurs during adolescence and is thought to affect 80-90% of adolescents in the Western world. In some rural societies, the prevalence is lower.  In 2010, it is estimated that acne has affected 650 million people globally, making it the 8th most common disease in the world. Acne can also arise before and after puberty. Although the disease is much less common in adults than in adolescence, about half of people in their 20s and 30s continue to have acne, and about 4% continue to have it after age 40.