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Acne is a common skin disorder, and an estimated 80 percent of people between the ages of 11 and 30 years old experience outbreaks at some point, and acne can persist well into adulthood.1a Fortunately, acne is a treatable skin condition, once a physician and patient find an appropriate product and dosage.

Causes and Symptoms

Typically, acne is caused when increased levels of the male hormone, testosterone (which is present in both males and females), produces growth in the sebaceous (oil) glands of the skin and increases their oily secretions. In addition, changes in the hair follicles — or pores — lead to a greater number of dead skin cells being shed. These cells tend to cling together, plugging the follicle opening. The combination of oils and cells provide an ideal environment for bacterial growth.1b

The physical appearance of acne can vary widely. Sometimes acne is confined to comedones—commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads—that exist on the surface of the skin. But it can also include deeper lesions called nodules and cysts that lie further underneath the skin. Such deeper lesions tend to be more painful and are sometimes filled with pus.2


Acne treatments may help address: abnormal clumping of cells in the follicles, oil production, bacteria and inflammation.1c If you suffer from acne, talk to your dermatologist about treatment options.

  1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health. Acne. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Updated October, 2010. Accessed September 9, 2011.

  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health. Acne: frequently asked questions. Available at Accessed August 13, 2011.