Acne vulgaris (or simply acne) is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. Acne is characterized by areas of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and greasy skin and may result in scarring. The resulting appearance can lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem and, in some cases depression. Genetics is thought to be the cause in 80% of cases. The role of diet and cigarette smoking is unclear and neither cleanliness nor sunlight appear to be involved. Acne primarily affects skin with a greater number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. During puberty in both sexes, acne is often brought on by an increase in androgen's such as testosterone. Excessive growth of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which is normally present on the skin, is often involved.
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