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Acne affects people of all ages

By Mayo Clinic News Network (TNS) - Feb 16,2020 - Last updated at Feb 16,2020

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Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. It often causes whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, and usually appears on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. Acne is most common among teenagers, though it affects people of all ages.

Effective treatments are available, but acne can be persistent. The pimples and bumps heal slowly, and when one begins to go away, others seem to crop up. Depending on its severity, acne can cause emotional distress and scar the skin. The earlier you start treatment, the lower your risk of problems.

Acne signs and symptoms vary depending on the severity of your condition:

• Whiteheads (closed plugged pores)

• Blackheads (open plugged pores)

• Small red, tender bumps (papules)

• Pimples (pustules), which are papules with pus at their tips

• Large, solid, painful lumps beneath the surface of the skin (nodules)

• Painful, pus-filled lumps beneath the surface of the skin (cystic lesions)


Some natural treatments may be helpful in reducing acne inflammation and breakouts.

Tea tree oil. Gels containing at least 5 per cent tea tree oil may be as effective as lotions containing 5 per cent benzoyl peroxide, although tea tree oil might work more slowly. Possible side effects include minor itching, burning, redness and dryness. Tea tree oil should be used only topically.

Bovine cartilage. Creams containing 5 per cent bovine cartilage, applied to the affected skin twice a day, may be effective in reducing acne.

Zinc. The mineral zinc plays a role in wound healing and reduces inflammation, which may help improve acne. It may cause a metallic taste, bloating and diarrhoea.

Brewer’s yeast.A specific strain of brewer’s yeast, called Hansen CBS, seems to help decrease acne when taken orally. It may cause gas (flatulence).


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