Acne is a common skin condition that will affect two-thirds of patients at one point in their lives.  Though about 80% of teenagers will have acne at some point, acne is no longer considered to be a problem limited to teenagers.  Both men and women can continue to be afflicted in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and even 50s, resulting in years of frustration.

There are many factors that contribute to the formation of acne.  The most important factor also happens to be the most difficult to control: genetics.  If a person has one parent who suffered from severe acne in adolescence, there is a strong likelihood that the person will be affected with acne as well.  This likelihood increases if both parents had acne when they were younger. 

Additionally, there is strong evidence for a bacterial role in acne.  Propionibacterium acnes  is a slow-growing bacterium that is part of the normal skin flora.  In patients with acne, overactivity of P. acnes has been demonstrated.  This understanding becomes important in many of the medications that we use to treat acne.

The many other factors include follicular plugging by excessive sebum production, inflammation, and hormonal factors.  The application of comedogenic ("pore-clogging") products can also worsen or aggravate acne.  The role of other factors such as diet and stress has not been established; however, many of our patients do notice a correlation.  

Continue to next page: Types of acne

If you would like Dr. Jogi, board-certified dermatologist in Houston, Texas, to evaluate and treat your acne, call 281.558.3376 for an appointment, or click here to register online.