Acne is the common name for a skin condition known medically as Acne vulgaris, which is caused by the overactivity of the pilosebaceous units in the skin. These units consist of a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland and are the source of much of the skin’s natural protection against the elements and other impurities. Acne sufferers tend to be in their teens, but are by no means always adolescent, and they suffer from what are usually non-inflammatory blemishes on the skin. Although these affect the face more than anything, they are also frequently found on the back and upper chest.
In its severest forms, acne can be characterised by inflammatory pustules and similar blemishes, which will be more painful and liable to further infection if left untreated or treated irregularly. Although acne affects mostly adolescents and tends to clear up as sufferers enter their mid-twenties, it is certainly not unheard of for it to affect older sufferers, including those in their thirties and forties, and some who are older.
Acne vulgaris can be at the source of a number of different skin problems, with the lesions caused including pimples and “zits”. It is most frequent during adolescence – a time when social anxiety tends to be at its height, and therefore is all the more problematic to those sufferers. As well as physical scarring, it can leave a deep psychological impression – even going as far as depression. There are ways of tackling acne, but they must be aggressively pursued in order to put a definitive stop to the problem once and for all.