Skin Problems Overview

Good treatments are available for a variety of skin conditions, including rash, itchy skin, skin fungus or infection, skin bumps or skin tags. A dermatologist can advise you on the best way to clean, treat, and protect oily or dry skin.

Symptoms

Acne develops most often on the face, neck, chest, shoulders, or back and can range from mild to severe. It can last for a few months, many years, or come and go your entire life.

Mild acne usually causes only whiteheads and blackheads. At times, these may develop into an infection in the skin pore (pimple).

Severe acne can produce hundreds of pimples that cover large areas of skin. Cystic lesions are pimples that are large and deep. These lesions are often painful and can leave scars on your skin.

Acne can lead to low self-esteem and sometimes depression. These conditions need treatment along with the acne.

Acne – What Happens

Acne develops most often in the teen and young adult years. During this time, both males and females usually produce more testosteronethan at any other time in life. This hormone causes oil glands to produce more oil (sebum). The extra oil can clog pores and cause acne. Bacteria can grow in this mixture. And if the mixture leaks into nearby tissues, it causes swelling, redness, and pus (pimples).

Acne usually gets better in the adult years when your body produces less testosterone. Still, some women have premenstrual acne flare-ups well into adulthood.

Acne – What Increases Your Risk
The tendency to develop acne runs in families. You are more likely to develop severe acne if your parents had severe acne.

The risk of developing acne is highest during the teen and young adult years. These are the years when hormones such as testosterone are increasing. Women who are at the age of menstruation also are more likely to develop acne. Many women have acne flare-ups in the days just before their menstrual periods.

Acne can be irritated or made worse by:

  • Wearing straps or other tight-fitting items that rub against the skin (such as a football player wearing shoulder pads), as well as using equipment that rubs against the body (such as a violin held between the cheek and shoulder). Helmets, bra straps, headbands, and turtleneck sweaters also may cause acne to get worse.
  • Using skin and hair care products that contain irritating substances.
  • Washing the face too often or scrubbing the face too hard. Using harsh soaps or very hot water can also cause acne to get worse.
  • Experiencing a lot of stress.
  • Touching the face a lot.
  • Sweating a lot.
  • Having hair hanging in the face, which can cause the skin to be oilier.
  • Taking certain medicines, such as corticosteroids, some barbiturates, or lithium.
  • Working with oils and harsh chemicals on a regular basis.

Athletes or bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids are also at risk for getting acne.1