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What is acne?
Acne (acne vulgaris, common acne) is a disease of the hair follicles of the face, chest, and back that affects almost all teenagers during puberty -- the only exception being members of a few primitive Neolithic tribes living in isolation. It is not caused by bacteria, although bacteria play a role in its development. It is not unusual for some women to develop acne in their mid- to late-20s.
Acne appears on the skin as
occluded pores ("comedones"), also known as blackheads or whiteheads,
tender red bumps also known as pimples or zits,
pustules (bumps containing pus), and occasionally as
cysts (deep pimples, boils).
One can do a lot to treat acne using products available at a drugstore or cosmetic counter that do not require a prescription. However, for tougher cases of acne, one should consult a physician for treatment options.