Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of oil glands at the base of hair follicles. This inflammation, depending on its location, can take the form of a superficial pustule (contains pus), a pimple, a deeper cyst, congested pores, whiteheads, or blackheads. Treatments vary depending on the severity of the acne. Read more: Acne (Pimples) Article
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Rosacea, Acne, Shingles: Common Adult Skin Diseases
Learn to spot and treat skin conditions commonly found in adults such as acne, eczema, shingles, psoriasis, rosacea, hives, cold...
Skin and Makeup Quiz: Test Your Skin and Makeup IQ
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Rosacea Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Think acne and rosacea are the same? Think again. Take the Rosacea Quiz to learn all about this inflammatory skin condition.
Skin Quiz: Acne, Dry Skin, Dandruff & More
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Puberty In Girls Quiz: Stages of Puberty
Take the Puberty In Girls Quiz to learn the myths and facts about normal adolescent growth and development for teens and tweens.
Acne (Pimples) Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
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Picture of Erythematous Deep Acne Scars
Acne scarring is a common sequel of severe inflammatory or cystic acne. It can present in a mild or cosmetically disfiguring...
Picture of Acne Vulgaris Nodulocystic
Inflammatory nodules, cysts, and pustules (left). See a picture of Acne Vulgaris Nodulocystic and learn more about the health...
Picture of Cystic Acne
Cystic acne is a type of abscess that is formed when oil ducts become clogged and infected. See a picture of Cystic Acne and...
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The skin is the largest organ of the body, with a total area of about 20 square feet. See a picture of the Skin and learn more...
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Solid white color immediately following a Jessner TCA peel. See a picture of Jessner Facial Peel and learn more about the health...
Picture of Acne
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Adult Acne (Pimples) Causes and Treatments
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Acne 101: Types, Best Treatments, Medication, Cystic Acne
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Skin Health: 15 Tips for Clear Skin
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Women's Health: 25 Hormone Imbalance Symptoms and Signs
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Baby Skin Care: Tips to Keep Newborn's Skin Healthy
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Related Disease Conditions
Keratosis Pilaris (KP)
Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common skin disorder in which small white or red bumps appear around hair follicles on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks, and cheeks. The cause of KP is unknown. There is no cure for keratosis pilaris, and the condition may resolve on its own. Gentle exfoliation, professional manual extraction, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, along with topical products, are the best treatments for this condition.
Boils (Skin Abscesses)
A boil is a skin abscess, a collection of pus localized deep in the skin. There are several different types of boils. Among them are the following: furuncle or carbuncle, cystic acne, hidradenitis suppurativa, and pilonidal cyst.
Folliculitis is a skin condition that causes small red bumps to form around the hair follicles. Skin bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas may infect the follicles. Treatment involves over-the-counter bacterial washes, topical antibiotics, and/or topical steroids.
Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness of the forehead, chin, and lower half of the nose. In addition to inflammation of the facial skin, symptoms include dilation of the blood vessels and pimples (acne rosacea) in the middle third of the face. Oral and topical antibiotics are treatments for rosacea. If left untreated, rhinophyma (a disfiguring nose condition) may result.
A sty is a bump that forms on the eyelid as a result of a blocked gland. Styes may be caused by infections, burns, or trauma to the eyelid. Most styes resolve on their own. The application of warm compresses can speed healing. In some cases, steroid injection or incision and drainage may be necessary. Keeping the area clean and consuming a diet high in omega-3-fatty acids may help prevent the formation of styes.
Cysts are sac-like structures that may be filled with gas, liquid, or solid materials. Cysts may produce symptoms and signs depending on their location. Treatment of a cyst depends upon what caused the cyst in the first place.
The time when boys and girls begin the process of sexual maturation is called puberty. During this time, both sexes undergo a series of biological changes that include a rapid increase in height, bone growth, weight increase, the growth of pubic hair, breast development and the onset of menstruation in girls, and testicle, penis, and muscle enlargement in boys.
Pimple vs. Cold Sore
Pimples are areas of skin inflammation with pus in the center. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters. Pimples are caused by bacterial overgrowth and inflammation. Cold sores are caused by infection with herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2). Benzoyl peroxide and sometimes antibiotics treat acne. Antiviral medications accelerate the healing process of oral herpes.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation. Common PMS symptoms include; Depression Irritability Crying Oversensitivity Mood swings For some women PMS symptoms can be controlled with natural and home remedies, medications, and lifestyle changes such as exercise, nutrition, and a family and friend support system.
A keloid is a scar that doesn't know when to stop. When the cells keep on reproducing, the result is an overgrown (hypertrophic) scar or a keloid. A keloid looks shiny and is often dome-shaped, ranging in color from slightly pink to red. It feels hard and thick and is always raised above the surrounding skin.
Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Acne rosacea, staphylococcal bacteria, allergies, sensitivities to makeup or contact lens solutions, head lice, or other conditions may cause blepharitis. Symptoms and signs include itchy eyelids, burning sensation in the eyes, crusting of the eyelids, light sensitivity, red, swollen eyelids, loss of eyelashes, and dandruff of the lashes and eyebrows. Proper eyelid hygiene and a regular cleaning routine controls blepharitis.
Cystic acne is distinguised by painful nodules on the chest, face, neck, and back. This formo of acne is known to scar. Treatment may incorporate the use of hormonal therapies, oral antibiotics, and prescription medications.
Molluscum contagiosum is a skin disease that causes pink painless bumps on the skin. It typically resolves in 6 to 12 months. Cryotherapy, laser therapy, and curettage may also treat the nodules of molluscum contagiosum.
Ingrown hairs may be caused by improper shaving, waxing, or blockage of the hair follicle. Symptoms and signs of ingrown hairs include itching, tenderness, and small red pus bumps. Ingrown hairs usually heal on their own, but topical antibiotics, chemical depilatories, and hair-removal laser may be used in the treatment of ingrown hairs.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), also known by the name Stein-Leventhal syndrome, is a hormonal problem that causes women to have a variety of symptoms including irregular or no menstrual periods, acne, obesity, and excess hair growth. Treatment of PCOS depends partially on the woman's stage of life and the symptoms of PCOS.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that are related to testosterone and promote skeletal muscle growth and the development of male sexual characteristics in both men and women. In the 1930s, it was discovered that anabolic steroids could promote skeletal muscle growth in lab animals, which lead to anabolic steroid abuse by bodybuilders and weight lifters.
Sleep Disorders (How to Get a Good Night's Sleep)
A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Sleep needs vary from individual to individual and change throughout your life. The National Institutes of Health recommend about 7-9 hours of sleep each night for older, school-aged children, teens, and most average adults; 10-12 for preschool-aged children; and 16-18 hours for newborns. There are two stages of sleep; 1) REM sleep (rapid-eye movement), and 2) NREM sleep (non-rapid-eye movement). The side effects of lack of sleep or insomnia include: Irritability Tiredness Feeling sleepy during the day Concentration or memory problems Lack of sleep and insomnia can be caused by medical conditions or diseases, medications, stress, or pain. The treatment for lack of sleep and insomnia depends upon the cause.
Fragrances and preservatives in cosmetics may cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms include redness, itching, and swelling after the product comes in contact with the person's skin. Treatment typically involves the use of over-the-counter cortisone creams.
Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes skin and joint inflammation. Symptoms and signs include painful, stiff, and swollen joints, tendinitis, and organ inflammation. Treatment involves anti-inflammatory medications and exercise.
When dried sebum and dead skin cells block pores, blackheads (open comedones) result. Blackheads often appear on the face in the crevices of the nose, the chin, and cheeks. Prescription topical retinoids are effective treatments for blackheads. Vacuum extractors and pore strips are other options for blackhead removal.
SAPHO syndrome is a chronic disorder that involves the skin, bone, and joints. SAPHO syndrome is an eponym for the combination of synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis. SAPHO syndrome is related to arthritic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis and reactive arthritis. Treatment is directed toward the individual symptoms that are present, and includes medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and cortisone medications.
Scar formation is a natural part of the healing process after injury. The depth and size of the wound incision and the location of the injury impact the scar's characteristics, but your age, heredity and even sex or ethnicity will affect how your skin reacts.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is an illness where a person is overly preoccupied with some minor or imaginary flaw. People with BDD tend to have cosmetic surgery. BDD can be treated with SSRIs and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Hidradenitis Suppurativa (Acne Inversa)
Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS or acne inversa) is a chronic skin condition that causes painful red abscesses in the groin and armpits that may drain foul-smelling pus. Treatment options include weight loss, smoking cessation, topical antibiotics, and avoidance of tight-fitting underwear. Finasteride and adalimumab may be helpful for those with resistant cases of HS.
How Do You Get Rid of Boils?
Boils result from a localized skin infection. They start as a hard, tender lump that reddens. Eventually, the lump becomes filled with whitish or yellow pus, which comprises millions of dead white blood cells the body has deployed to fight the infection, bacteria, and proteins.
Pregnancy and Drugs (Prescription and OTC)
Taking prescription medications or over-the-counter drugs or supplements should be discussed with your doctor. There are some medications that have been found to cause no problems in pregnancy, however, medications such as Accutane for acne, should never be taken during pregnancy.
Disease Prevention for Teens
Teenagers recognize that they are developmentally between child and adult. Teen health prevention includes maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, preventing injuries and screening annually for potential health conditions that could adversely affect teenage health.
Local ResourcesFind a local Dermatologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Skin FAQs
- Puberty In Girls FAQs
- Acne FAQs
- Beauty FAQs
- Rosacea FAQs
- Accutane (isotretinoin) for Acne linked to birth defects, depression and suicide
- Questions To Ask Your Doctor - General
- Skin: Are Hypoallergenic Cosmetics Really Better?
- What Are the Side Effects of Taking Antibiotics Long-Term?
- How to Tell If Your Red Skin Is Rosacea?
- Can Dermabrasion Cure Acne Scars?
- Is it Safe to Use Accutane for Acne?
- How to Get Rid of Acne
- Cyst Symptoms, Signs, and Causes
Medications & Supplements
- metronidazole (Flagyl, Flagyl ER) Antibiotic
- prednisone (Prednisone Intensol, Rayos) Corticosteroid
- Predinsone Side Effects (Adverse Effects)
- Birth Control Pills (List of Oral Contraceptives and Side Effects)
- Aldactone (spironolactone)
- clindamycin/benzoyl peroxide - topical, Benzaclin, Duac
- erythromycin ointment - topical, Akne-Mycin
- erythromycin base gel - topical, A/T/S, Emgel, Erygel
- adapalene - topical, Differin
- erythromycin solution, lotion - topical, A/T/S
- erythromycin base pads - topical, Erycette
- tretinoin - topical, Retin-A
- erythromycin/benzoyl peroxide - topical, Benzamycin
- tetracycline - oral, Sumycin
- Amoxicillin vs. Levaquin (Strength and Effectiveness)
- amoxicillin (Amoxil, Moxatag, Larotid)
- ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES
- tretinoin (Retin-A, Retin-A Micro, Atralin, Renova, Avita)
- erythromycin (Ery-Tab, PCE)
- Ethinyl Estradiol-Cyproterone-Oral
- doxycycline (Vibramycin, Doryx)
- metronidazole (Flagyl) Side Effects and Adverse Effects
- Doxycycline vs. minocycline
- Over-the-Counter Products
- lithium (Lithobid)
- isotretinoin (Accutane, Claravis, Amnesteem, Absorica, Zenatane)
- azelaic acid cream - topical, Azelex
- clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide combination pack-topical, Z-Clinz
- tea tree oil (Melaleuca Oil)
- tetracycline (Sumycin)
- benzoyl peroxide (Proactiv, Neutrogena, Clearasil)
- metronidazole cream (Noritate, Metrocream)
- clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel (Benzaclin, Acanya, Duac, Onexton)
- norethindrone/ethinyl estradiol/ferrous fumarate - oral, Estrostep Fe, Loestrin Fe
- azelaic acid (Finacea, Azelex)
- minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin)
- topical clindamycin (Cleocin T, Clindagel)
- sulfacetamide/sulfur cleanser - topical, Avar, Plexion, Rosanil Cleanse
- Doxycycline vs. Levaquin
- cefadroxil, Duricef (Discontinued)
- demeclocycline - oral, Declomycin
- hydrocortisone/benzoyl peroxide - topical, Vanoxide-HC
- folic acid/niacinamide (nicotinamide)/copper/zinc - oral, Nicomide
- sulfacetamide/sulfur cream - topical, Avar, Plexion SCT
- sodium sulfacetamide suspension - topical (acne only), Klaron
- salicylic acid/flex collodion combinations liquid - topical, Freezone, Gordofilm
- Metronidazole (Flagyl) vs. azelaic acid (Finacea)
- adapalene (Differin)
- sulfacetamide/sulfur lotion - topical, Nicosyn, Novacet, Sulfacet-R
- tazarotene (Tazorac)
- sulfur/alcohol - topical, Liquimat
- erythromycin and benzoyl peroxide (gel or pak), Benzamycin
- sulfacetamide/sulfur gel - topical, Avar
- Cleocin T
- Minocin Capsules
- Retin-A Micro
- Differin Gel .1
- Differin Lotion .1
- Differin Gel .3
- Epiduo Forte
- Sodium Sulfacetamide and Sulfur Lotion
- Differin Cream
Prevention & Wellness
- Some Women Still Getting Pregnant While on Acne Drug Tied to Birth Defects
- Curbing a Skin Oil Might Help Curb Acne, Study Suggests
- When You Need to See a Dermatologist
- Health Tip: Treating Acne Scars
- Acne Drug Accutane May Not Depress Mood After All
- Health Tip: Common Triggers for Acne
- New Acne Treatment Might Spring From Old One
- Health Tip: Why You May Have Adult Acne
- Acne's Stigma Can Take a Big Mental Toll
- Don't Pop That Pimple, Expert Says
- Acne Advice for Returning Students
- A Vaccine to Prevent Acne? It May Be Possible One Day
- Health Tip: Things to Remember About Acne
- Expert Tips for Taming Oily Skin
- Health Tip: Recognize a Bad Reaction to Acne Medication
- Pain of Acne More Than Skin Deep
- How to Take Action Against Acne
- Health Tip: Four Common Types Of Acne
- Health Tip: Can't Clear Your Acne?
- The Couple That Lives Together Shares Skin Bacteria Together
- Skin's Bacterial 'Balance' May Help Trigger Acne
- Men: Here Are Ways to Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin
- How to Exfoliate Safely and Give Your Skin a Healthy Glow
- Why Acne Can Strike Women After the Teen Years
- Acne Yields Up Secret That Points to New Treatments
- Acne's Silver Lining: Slower Aging of the Skin?
- Are Tea Tree and Lavender Oils Safe for Kids?
- FDA: Anti-Aging, Skin-Lightening Products May Contain Mercury
- Health Tip: Don't Ignore Acne
- Acne Treatment Differin Gel Approved for OTC Use
- FDA OKs Non-Prescription Use of Acne Drug
- Looks-Conscious Teens Trying Risky Supplements
- Hair Removal for a Beach-Ready Body? Do It Safely
- Health Tip: Discuss Acne Products With a Dermatologist
- Your Healthy Skin Germs Stay Put, Despite Cleaning
- Are People With Rosacea at Higher Risk for Alzheimer's?
- Contraception Safety Program for Acne Drug Failing in Canada
- Misconceptions About Acne Still Common
- Safe Treatments Available for Expectant Moms' Skin Conditions
- Double Up on Acne Treatments, New Guidelines Say
- Girls Given Risky Meds Don't Get Contraceptive Advice
- Health Tip: Acne Has Lasting Effects
- Bodily Changes Don't Always Signal 'Precocious' Puberty in Kids
- Many Patients With Acne Take Antibiotics Too Long: Study
- Health Tip: Shave Properly
- Experimental Treatment Uses Nitric Oxide for Acne
- Could a Vitamin Play a Role in Acne Outbreaks?
- High-Tech Skin Maps Show Chemicals From Clothes, Beauty Products
- Athletes Need to Guard Against Skin Woes
- Exfoliate With Care, Dermatologist Urges
- Many Acne Patients Don't Take Their Meds, Survey Shows
- Better Contraceptive Knowledge Can Aid in Safe Use of Acne Drug: Study
- Acne Gel Linked to Rare Side Effect, Doctors Warn
- Health Tip: Minimize Acne
- Laser Used to Remove Tattoos May Help Reduce Acne Scars
- Health Tip: Help Prevent Acne Scars
- Some Acne Products Can Trigger Severe Allergic Reactions: FDA
- New Approaches to Acne Treatment
- Prom Isn't a Good Reason to Hit the Tanning Salon
- Health Tip: Caring for Acne-Prone Skin
- Free Drug Samples for Doctors Might Prove Costly for Patients
- Health Tip: Avoiding Acne Triggers
- Health Tip: Taming Acne
- Health Tip: Teens Need Enough Sleep
- Cinnamon May Help Ease Common Cause of Infertility, Study Says
- Health Tip: Shopping for Skin Care Products
- Earlier Acne Outbreaks May Be Caused by Earlier Puberty: Experts
- Pediatricians Endorse New Acne Treatment Guidelines
- With Acne, Bacteria Strain on Your Skin May Be Culprit
- Study Finds No Tie Between Acne Drug Accutane and Crohn's, Colitis
- Muscle-Building Teens May Go to Extremes, Study Finds
- Health Tip: Caring for Acne
- Virus Fights Acne
- Skin Doctor Offers Tips to Reduce Acne
- Health Tip: Factors That Can Worsen Acne
- Acne Medication May Raise Risk of Eye Infections
- Weight-Loss Surgery May Also Help Menstruation, Skin, Hair
- Afinitor Approval Expanded to Include Benign Kidney Tumors
- Thyme's Time as an Acne Remedy May Be Coming Soon
- Acne-ADHD Link?
- Health Tip: Wash Skin Properly
- Health Tip: Most Teens Don't Get Enough Sleep
- Overweight Teen Girls May Have Higher Acne Risk
- FDA Panels to Weigh Safety of Newer Forms of the 'Pill'
- Acne Patients Who Take Antibiotics May Get More Sore Throats
- Low-Carb Diets May Improve Acne
- Experimental Drug Bests Chemo in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Study
- Early Success for Gel That Treats Acne Scars
- Expert Q&A: The Best Skin Care Routine for People With Acne and Rosacea
- Health Tip: Factors That May Aggravate Acne in Women
- Acne, Psoriasis Meds Don't Raise Fracture Risk
- New Birth Control Pill Natazia Gets FDA Approval
- Acne Patients Happy With Online Follow-Up Care
- Acne Drug May Help in the Fight Against AIDS
- Can You Treat Acne With an iPhone App?
- Health Tip: Caring for Acne-Prone Skin
- Study Lets Teens Sound Off on Acne Therapies
- Light Plus Suction Promising for Acne
- Pregnant Women Not Using Acne Drug Properly: Study
- 6 Secrets to Gorgeous Skin
- Men's Locker Room Savvy Quiz
- The ABCs of a Healthy Skin Diet
- Plastic Surgery: Extreme Makeover: Coming to a Beach Near You
- Medical Myths Debunked
- Skin Care: Protecting Your Skin
- Skin Care Products: Know Your Ingredients
- Skin Care Products: Assess Your Skin
- Acne Skin Care
- Acne: Toothpaste as Zit Zapper?
- Adult Acne: Acne.....Again?
- Acne: Can the Pill Clear Up Bad Skin?
- Non-Hormonal Acne Treatments
- Women and Body Image
- Women's Locker Room Savvy Quiz
- Cosmetic Laser Surgery, Is It For You?