What is Acne?

What is Acne?

The term acne is used to describe a condition which may include comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), red pimples, and even large nodules. The condition affects mainly the face, but may appear also on the shoulders, back, chest, arms, and buttocks.

As you probably know, acne is commonly a skin disease of adolescence, but it can affect adults as well. The tendency towards acne often, but not always, runs in families. Treatments which help teens can often help adults as well. Acne is treated by Dr. Alan Kling for patients in Manhattan, Brooklyn and throughout the New York City area.

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What causes Acne?

The cause starts with the sebaceous glands that connect to hair follicles. These glands of the skin secrete an oily material called sebum, which normally softens and lubricates the skin. The sebaceous glands become most active at puberty, leading to somewhat oily skin. Plugging of the hair follicles with dead skin cells also occurs in acne. When there is no inflammation, this leads to closed comedones (whiteheads) or open comedones (blackheads). The black color is not due to dirt, but rather from chemical changes in the cells. Finally, a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes thrives off the sebum, overgrows, and attracts your body’s immune cells, leading to inflammation and red bumps or nodules. Acne treatments are performed by Dr. Kling to restore their complexion.

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