Acne is characterized by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles. It occurs in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and lumps, sometimes called nodules. Acne is most common during puberty, but the condition can occur at any age. In fact, acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States, affecting nearly 85% of all people at some point in their lives.

Most acne appears on the face, but it can also occur on the shoulders, upper arms, chest, neck and back.

Common causes include:

  • Overproduction of oil by enlarged oil glands in the skin
  • Blockage of the hair follicles that release oil
  • Growth of bacteria within the hair follicles
  • Pores clogged with dead skin cells
  • Bacteria causing inflammation within pores
  • Environmental factors, such as humidity, that cause swelling of the skin
  • Certain medications
  • Genetic factors
  • Hormonal changes

Various forms of acne treatment are available at Surgical Dermatology Group.

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