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Acne is a skin problem. It shows up as blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Acne most often affects the face, neck, and upper body. It occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog the skin's pores.
Acne usually starts during the teen years and often lasts into adulthood. Gentle cleansing every day controls most mild acne. If home treatment doesn't work, your doctor may prescribe a cream, an antibiotic, or a stronger medicine called isotretinoin. Sometimes birth control pills help women who have monthly acne flare-ups.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: July 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Patrice Burgess MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Ellen K. Roh MD - Dermatology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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