Acne | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of acne?

Acne can occur anywhere on the body but most often appears in areas where there is a high concentration of sebaceous glands, located in the middle layer of skin, including the following:

  • face
  • chest
  • upper back
  • shoulders
  • neck

Although each adolescent may experience different acne symptoms, these are the most common signs:

  • blackheads
  • whiteheads
  • pus-filled lesions that may be painful
  • nodules (solid, raised bumps)

What causes acne?

Rising hormone levels during puberty may cause acne. In addition, acne is often inherited. Other causes of acne may include the following:

  • hormone level changes during the menstrual cycle in women
  • certain drugs (such as corticosteroids, lithium, and barbiturates)
  • oil and grease from the scalp, mineral or cooking oil, and certain cosmetics
  • friction or pressure from helmets, backpacks, or tight collars
  • environmental conditions (such as pollution or humidity)

Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that eating chocolate or greasy food doesn't cause acne. Neither does dirty skin.

Acne can also be aggravated by squeezing pimples or by scrubbing the skin too hard.