Acne Facts

Acne is a disorder caused by clogged hair follicles and sebaceous glands, which can lead to pimples and cysts. Acne is very common; nearly 80 percent of Americans between ages 11 and 30 years old will be affected by it at some point. Learn more about acne ›

Managing Adult Acne

You're not a teenager anymore, so why is your skin breaking out after all these years? Could it be adult acne?

Hormones can lead to acne in adults, just as they do in teenagers. This is because they make your sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, an oily substance that lubricates your skin, says the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). When this occurs, the hair follicles connected to these glands can become clogged with sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria. The skin becomes inflamed, and whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, nodules, or cysts can form.

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A Fresh Look at Common Skin Problems

Skin problems such as pimples, blackheads, rashes and oily skin aren't just for teens. They're also common in adults. But you don't necessarily need a dermatologist to treat them.

"You may be able to treat all of these conditions at home," says Marsha Lynn Gordon, M.D., coauthor of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beautiful Skin.

Here's her advice on how to solve common skin problems using home remedies.

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Treating Teen Acne

It's a fact of teenage life: When puberty hits, acne often does, too.

Just about every teen will find at least one blackhead or whitehead on his or her skin by age 17, and some teens will develop more severe acne, which can leave scarring if it isn't treated.

The culprits of acne, experts say, are heredity and hormones. At puberty, the sebaceous or oil glands around the hair follicles on the skin enlarge. Oil production also increases. Then, the ducts surrounding the follicles become clogged, and a whitehead or blackhead—called a comedo—results. If a blackhead or whitehead becomes inflamed, a raised, red pimple develops.

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Treating Acne with Tetracyclines

Tetracycline (te-tra-SYE-cleen) antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections in many parts of the body. These antibiotics are also used to help clear up acne. They do not work for colds, flu, and other viruses.

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What is Acne?

Acne is a disorder of the hair follicles and sebaceous glands. The glands become clogged, leading to pimples and cysts.

Acne is very common - nearly 80 percent of individuals in the US between 11 and 30 years old will be affected by this condition at some point. Acne most often begins in puberty. During puberty, the male sex hormones (androgens) increase in both boys and girls, causing the sebaceous glands to become more active - resulting in increased production of oil (sebum).

Learn more about acne

Your Guide to Acne

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Did You Know?

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If you have a pimple, you're not alone. Close to 100 percent of people ages 12 to 17 have at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead, or pimple. More than 40 percent of adolescents have acne severe enough by their mid-teens to require treatment by a physician.