What Is Acne?
Acne is a disorder resulting from the
action of hormones and other substances on the skin's oil
glands (sebaceous glands) and hair follicles. These factors
lead to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly
called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the
face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Although acne is
usually not a serious health threat, it can be a source of
significant emotional distress. Severe acne can lead to
How Does Acne Develop?
Doctors describe acne as a disease of
the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). Found over most of the body,
PSUs consist of a sebaceous gland connected to a canal,
called a follicle, that contains a fine hair (see "Normal
Pilosebaceous Unit" diagram). These units are most numerous
on the face, upper back, and chest. The sebaceous glands
make an oily substance called sebum that normally empties
onto the skin surface through the opening of the follicle,
commonly called a pore. Cells called keratinocytes line the
Normal Pilosebaceous Unit
Part 1: What is acne?
Part 2: What is acne? ...continued
Part 3: What causes acne?
Part 4: How is acne treated?
Part 5: How should I care for my skin?
Part 6: Current research for acne?
Source: Adapted from National
Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases