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Welcome to the Acne Health Channel by eMedTV. Acne is a disease that affects the skin's oil glands. When the follicle of a gland clogs up, a pimple develops. When several pimples occur at the same time, it's called acne. Nearly 17 million people in the United States have acne, making it the most common skin disease.
There are many types of acne. The two most common types are whiteheads and blackheads. Other types of acne include papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts.
What Causes Acne?
Several factors are thought to be possible causes of acne. For example, hormonal changes, certain drugs, heredity, and greasy makeup may all be causes of acne.
Do Certain Foods Cause Acne?
While many people feel that eating chocolate or greasy foods causes acne, experts have not found a link between a person's diet and acne. Foods seem to have little effect on acne in most people. However, it's still important to eat a healthy diet for overall good health.
Does Stress Cause Acne?
Stress does not cause acne, but acne may be a side effect of some medicines used to treat stress or depression. And, in some cases, the social and emotional impact of acne lesions can cause stress.
How Is Acne Treated?
Doctors usually recommend topical (placed directly on the skin) acne medications for people with mild signs of acne. Patients with moderate to severe inflammatory acne may be treated with prescription topical or oral (taken by mouth) acne medications. The dermatologist may prescribe Accutane® if other acne medications have not successfully treated the condition.
Good acne skin care can help prevent or minimize acne flare-ups and acne scars. Most doctors recommend that people gently wash their skin with a mild cleanser twice a day and also after heavy exercise. It is an acne myth that people get acne because they don't wash enough. Too much washing or harsh scrubbing of the skin can actually make acne worse.
Can I Prevent Acne?
An acne prevention plan requires good skin care, avoiding excessive sun exposure, choosing make-up and hair care products carefully, and talking with your doctor about what treatments can help your acne. Avoiding things that rub the skin -- such as backpacks and sports equipment -- can also be helpful in preventing acne.
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Acne Treatment and Prevention
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