Acne is a skin condition that results in pimples spreading across areas of the skin such as the face, shoulders, back, chest and neck. It occurs when the skin’s follicles become plugged with oil, dead skin cells, dirt and debris. These pimples heal very slowly and others appear before the first are even healed. Acne can be an embarrassing condition that causes stress, annoyance, depression and even scarring of the affected skin if not treated.
Prevalence and Risk Factors
Acne is an extremely common condition, especially among teenagers and young adults. Approximately 90% of teens experience some degree of acne, although about 30% have acne that needs treatment to prevent scarring. The highest risk for developing acne occurs between the ages of 12 and 25, although cases are sometimes seen at younger ages and older ages.
Boys tend to develop acne more often than girls, although girls may be more at risk of developing acne due to hormonal changes in pregnancy, monthly menstruation cycles and with the use of oral contraceptives. Family history also comes into play; children of acne sufferers are at higher risk of developing it as well.