Virtually every adolescent has a few “spots”, however, about 15% of the adolescent population have sufficient problems to seek treatment . In most patients, but not all, the acne clears up by the late teens or early 20s. More severe acne tends to last longer. A group of patients have persistent acne lasting up to the age of 30 to 40 years, and sometimes beyond. Patients with persistent acne often have a family history of persistent acne. Acne may scar - most of the time this is preventable by using the correct treatment given in a timely fashion.
This chapter is set out as follows:
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It is widely suspected that the anaerobic bacterial species Propionibacterium acnes ( P. acnes ) contributes to the development of acne, but its exact role is not well understood.  There are specific sub-strains of P. acnes associated with normal skin, and moderate or severe inflammatory acne.  It is unclear whether these undesirable strains evolve on-site or are acquired, or possibly both depending on the person. These strains have the capability of changing, perpetuating, or adapting to the abnormal cycle of inflammation, oil production, and inadequate sloughing of dead skin cells from acne pores. Infection with the parasitic mite Demodex is associated with the development of acne.   It is unclear whether eradication of the mite improves acne.