Acne What is it? The symptoms and evolution of acne.

Acne is a disease of the pilo-sebaceous follicles of the skin, affecting many teenagers and some adults. The presence of acne lesions on the skin (comedones, papules, pustules, even nodules and cysts) has a strong impact on the quality of life.

How does acne appear?
Acne is a very common skin disease, which first touches teenagers (80% of teenagers have acne). Adults, especially women, can also be affected.

Acne is more precisely a pilo-sebaceous follicle disease: Each hair is adjacent a sebaceous gland. This gland secretes the sebum, which normally is very fluid. It flows through the pores of the skin it covers to protect it.

In acne, sebum is secreted in excess. It’s getting thick. Dead cells clog the pores of the skin.

In this fat-rich environment, a bacterium usually present on the skin, Propioni-bacterium acne, is multiplied in an abnormal way. This leads to the onset of acne lesions.

Where does acne seat?
In 95% of people acne, the face is the area most often affected by acne.
Other areas of the body can be reached:

The back (43% of people acne);
Neck (20%);
The anterior part of the thorax (20%).

The main lesions due to acne
The main lesions present in acne are:

  • Blackheads or comedones open. They may spontaneously expel or ignite;
  • White dots or comedones closed. They can ignite and become papules;
  • Inflammatory red pimples without pus, sometimes painful, less than 5 mm or papules;
  • White-headed red pimples containing pus or pustules;
  • Small, painful lumps, deep and more than 5 mm, without visible redness on the surface or nodules. They can rupture and leave scars;
  • Small permanent bumps of varying volume, not disappearing spontaneously and filled with liquid enclosed in a fibrous shell or cysts.

The severity of acne is assessed according to the extent and type of lesions:

  • Acne can be minor: some comedones appear on the face. They are associated most often with excessive seborrhea. The skin is oily in the central part of the face (nose, forehead, chin, cheek);
  • Acne can be more severe: In addition to Comedones, papules and pustules occur. They invade a more or less extensive part of the face and can gain shoulders and back;
  • Acne is sometimes severe: nodules and cysts may appear, in addition to other existing lesions, and leave scars.

Possible evolution and consequences of acne
Acne evolves most often by flare-up, over several years before it heals.

During its evolutionary phase, acne usually has an impact on quality of life and self-esteem.

Once cured, acne can leave temporary or definitive scars.

It is therefore necessary to take acne seriously and to put in place a treatment as soon as this disease is severe or has a psycho-social impact.

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