Acne is the term used to describe blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, minor lumps or any plugged pores that occur on the face or upper torso. While most major acne problems occur during adolescence, this condition can occur before and after the teenage years. While acne can affect males and females, males tend to have more severe, longer lasting types of the condition and many females will have frequent flare-ups of acne during hormonal shifts (such as their menstrual cycle).
In general, minor acne will come and go on its own, recurring more frequently between the ages of adolescence and tapering off in regularity thereafter. More extreme acne can lead to serious permanent scarring, which is the result of tissue injury. In some cases, acne can continually afflict a person later in life.
Many people are concerned with acne prevention. Medications are available to lessen the severity of outbreaks, and your doctor can recommend changes in habit that may reduce outbreaks. If you do have acne, there are ways to prevent acne scarring. Treating acne inflammation at the onset of the condition will help lessen the severity of the injury to your tissue, which will prevent or lessen scarring. If over-the-counter medication is not working for you, your doctor can prescribe stronger, more intensive medication.
If you have scarring from acne, you don’t have to live with it forever. Some people choose to undergo remodeling that diminishes or completely removes traces of scarring. Scar treatments include collagen injections to fill in gaps or holes, dermabrasion to alter the contours of the scars, laser treatment to reduce redness and skin grafting to replace damaged skin. The type of treatment that is best for you depends on the severity of the damage and you should consult with your doctor to find the best options for you.