Acne

Acne vulgaris (or acne) is a common human skin disease, characterized by areas of skin with seborrhea (scaly red skin), comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules (pinheads), pustules (pimples), nodules (large papules) and/or scarring. Acne affects mostly skin with the densest population of sebaceous follicles; these areas include the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back. Severe acne is inflammatory but acne can also manifest in non-inflammatory forms. The lesions are caused by changes in pilosebaceous units, skin structures consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous gland. Follicles, often called pores, sometimes get blocked. Sebum (oil), which normally drains to the surface, gets blocked and bacteria begin to grow. Large nodules are also referred to as "cysts", and the term nodulocystic has been used to describe severe cases of inflammatory acne. The cysts or boils that accompany cystic acne can appear on the buttocks, groin, and armpit area, and anywhere else where sweat collects in hair follicles and perspiration ducts. Cystic acne affects deeper skin tissue than does common acne. Aside from scarring, its main effects are psychological, such as reduced self-esteem and depression. Acne usually appears during adolescence, but can also appear or continue in adulthood.

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