Almost all people have had acne once in a while. Acne although more common in teenagers can happen in people of any age. Some people can begin to get acne in adulthood.


Increased levels of sex hormones would stimulate sebaceous (oil-producing) glands to release more sebum. Inflammation of the hair follicles together with the skin debris would block the skin pores. Bacteria then infect the hair follicles leading to inflammatory lesions.

People with a family history of severe acne would have a higher risk of developing bad acne.

Environmental factors such as the use of cosmetic products and pressure from headbands. Some food such as excessive dairy products and high sugar food could trigger the development of acne.

Symptoms and signs:

Open and closed comedones. Papules, pustules and cysts on cheeks, forehead, nose and jaw areas.


Topical antibiotics, topical retinoids, oral antibiotics and oral retinoids can effectively control acne.

Intralesional steroid injections can be used for large acne nodules and cysts.

Lasers can be used to treat inflammatory acne and reduce sebum production.

General care:

The affected area should be washed twice daily with a mild cleanser. Avoid using oily products such as cosmetic foundations or thick sunscreen. Aggressive cleansing products with abrasives can worsen the acne. Squeezing or picking the acne sometimes can aggravate inflammation thus increasing the risk of leaving marks or scars behind.