Acne is a common skin condition for most people and its onset usually takes place during puberty, but can continue for decades. Genes, diet, stress levels, and medications can all affect the prevalence of acne in an individual. The condition is caused by clogged skin follicles which form pustules on the surface of the skin. In severe cases, nodules or cysts form underneath the skin and become deeply painful. While many believe that acne will reappear throughout their lifetime, and without treatment can lead to scarring, dark marks, self-esteem issues, and other permanent damage.
Topical retinoids are facial creams or lotions packed full of vitamin A which help clean out clogged pores and keep them open. This type of treatment also aids in the elimination of dark spots and acne scars by stimulating the production of new skin cells. Results are typically visible after three to six months depending on the severity of the case.
Hormonal treatments (e.g. birth control for women) or antibiotics are tools which dermatologists use to treat acne by altering bodily composition to either reduce the amount of oil the skin produces or combat the bacteria present on the skin. These treatments show the best results for mild to moderate acne. For severe acne and scarring, more aggressive therapy may be necessary.