Acne is a disease of the oil glands and occurs where these glands are the largest and most active (face, back, shoulders, and chest.) It often begins at puberty, but it may begin after the teenage years. Most teenagers have some form of acne and 50% need acne treatment for it. For some individuals, acne can persist into adulthood.
There are many causes of acne, but simply stated, acne is caused by a plugging of the oil glands. This causes whiteheads and blackheads to appear, also known as closed and open comedones. After the oil gland is blocked, oil begins to build up and bacteria can begin to grow in the blocked glands. The bacteria causes the body to form red bumps and pus bumps, commonly referred to as pimples. In some cases, large cysts can begin to form that are filled with pus. The severity of acne differs from person to person and this can determine what acne treatment is appropriate.