Skip to main content


Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is acne?

Acne is a skin condition that is common in adolescents. Acne usually gets better over time, but may continue into adulthood for some people.

What causes or increases my risk for acne?

Acne occurs when pores become blocked with dead skin cells, oil, or bacteria. Pores are openings in your skin where oil, sweat, and hair are produced. Acne may be caused by high hormone levels during puberty. Hormonal changes caused by birth control pills, menstrual cycles, or pregnancy can cause acne in females. Medicines such as antidepressants and antiseizure medicines can also cause acne. Sensitive skin or a family history of acne increases your risk. The following can make your acne worse:

What are the different types of acne?

Acne most often appears on the face, neck, upper chest, back, and upper arms.

How is acne diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will examine your skin and ask if you have ever received treatment for acne. Tell him or her how long your acne lasts and which face care products you use. Your provider may ask if anything makes your acne better or worse. You may need blood tests to check your hormone levels.

How is acne treated?

Treatment depends on how severe your acne is. Your healthcare provider may recommend any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What else can I do to manage or prevent acne?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© Copyright Merative 2024 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

Learn more about Acne

Treatment options

Symptoms and treatments guides (external)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.