Acne is a chronic condition that affects over 85% of adolescents and young adults. In fact, it is one of the most common skin diseases treated by physicians and dermatologists. In a study released in 2007, researchers in the largest study ever conducted on acne and stress revealed that teens under high levels of stress were 23 percent more likely to have a more severe case of acne. (1)
Acne is an umbrella term used to describe whiteheads, pustules, pimples, cysts and blackheads. The division in the description of the condition is important because each type of acne is treated differently.
Blackheads and whiteheads are medically known as comedones, and are usually more numerous on the face and shoulders. Blackheads are follicles that are larger than normal at the opening and become filled with plugs of sebum (oil) and dead skin cells. They undergo a chemical reaction which results in the oxidation of melanin in the dead skin cells. This gives the material in the follicle the typical black color.