Acne is a very common skin condition which affects most people at some stage in their life. Many teenagers get acne as they undergo hormonal changes in puberty. Acne spots can be both blackheads and whiteheads (called comedones), papules and pustules (small bumps), nodules and cysts. Acne can be mild or the spots can be inflamed and filled with pus. Treatment for acne will depend on how severe it is and whether there's a risk of it causing scars.

Acne is mainly driven by male hormones, which usually become active during the teenage years. Sensitivity to such hormones, combined with surface (skin) bacteria and lipids (fatty acids) within sebaceous (oil) glands, cause acne. Common sites for acne are the face, chest, shoulders and back - the sites of oil glands.

Though acne is essentially a normal physiological occurrence, certain conditions may aggravate the condition including:

Fluctuating hormone levels around the time of periods in women
Manipulating (picking/prodding) acne lesions
Clothing (for example hats and sports helmets) and headgear
Air pollution and certain weather conditions, especially high humidity

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