Acne in New Jersey
No one wants to live with acne—or the blemishes it can leave behind. Whether you're a teen dealing with annoyingly persistent pimples or one of the many adults bothered by red, bumpy skin, acne can make you feel self-conscious and leave scars or discolorations on your skin. While the exact cause of acne isn't fully understood, we do know some triggers of this common condition.
Acne Quick Facts
- Acne is the most common skin disorder in the USA, affecting 40 to 50 million Americans.
- Acne usually begins in puberty, but can develop in any age group.
- Women are particularly susceptible to late onset and adult acne.
- Nearly 85% of all people will have acne at some point in their lives.
- By mid-teens, more than 40% of adolescents have acne or acne scarring that requires treatment by a dermatologist.
What causes acne outbreaks?
The following factors can contribute to acne:
- Overproduction of oil by glands in the skin
- Blockage of the hair follicles that release oil
- Growth of bacteria, called P. acnes, within the hair follicles
Your skin is covered in hundreds of thousands hair follicles. Each follicle is connected to a sebaceous gland (oil gland) that secretes an oily substance called sebum. A lubricant for your hair and skin, sebum carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin, where they are shed from the body.
When too much sebum is produced, the dead cells can stick together and clump in the pore, forming a soft plug. Sometimes bacteria that live on the skin, P. acnes, also get trapped in the clogged pore. Once inside, the bacteria have the ideal environment to multiply. While this is not an infection, the pore becomes inflamed (red and swollen) and acne appears.
Hormones, certain medications and stress can stimulate oil production and trigger acne outbreaks. Typically, these outbreaks will appear on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders—the areas of your skin with the highest number of oil glands.
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Why do adults get acne?
Acne is often thought of as a teenage problem, but it is prevalent in adults as well. Acne that does not clear up by your mid-20s is known as adult acne and can continue well into your 30s, 40s and even 50s. More common in women, adult acne tends to form on the lower face.
Adults can also develop late-onset acne. People who never had acne or have not had it for years can suddenly develop deep-seated, inflamed pimples and nodules. Again, women are more susceptible. Adult-onset acne typically forms on the chin, jawline and around the mouth, but can also appear on the chest and back.
Triggers of adult acne include:
- Fluctuating hormones
- Discontinuing birth control pills
- Certain medications
- Family history of acne
- Hair and skin products
Will my acne clear up without treatment?
Regardless of age, acne can be frustratingly persistent and is often a source of embarrassment for patients at our New Jersey practice. Given that many acne sufferers will develop some degree of scarring, the best solution for acne is prevention. The earlier acne treatment is started, the lower the risk of lasting changes to your skin.