Acne is a disorder of the skin, which usually occurs in adolescence especially in people with a strong family history of allergic disorders.

It is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. While not a life threatening condition, acne can be upsetting and disfiguring. Severe acne can lead to serious and permanent scarring.

The underlying cause of Acne, which affects approximately 80% of all teenagers, is the increase in quantity of androgens secreted, or increased sensitivity of the sebaceous glands to androgens. These glands are found in areas where acne is common (the face, upper back, and chest). Rarely, Acne can be due to a hormonal imbalance.

Certain foods especially to which the patient is allergic also causes an increase in the activity of the sebaceous glands. The most common offenders are chocolates, nuts, cheese and fatty foods.


A comedo is a sebaceous follicle plugged with sebum, dead cells from inside the sebaceous follicle, tiny hair, and sometimes bacteria. When a comedo is open, it is commonly called a blackhead because the surface of the plug in the follicle has a blackish appearance. A closed comedo is commonly called a whitehead; its appearance is that of a skin-colored or slightly inflamed “bump” in the skin.

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