Thomas P. Habif, M.D.
Adjunct Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), Dartmouth Medical School
Acne is the term for plugged pores (blackheads and whiteheads), pimples, and even deeper lumps (cysts or nodules) that occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Acne affects most teenagers to some extent. However, the disease is not restricted to any age group; adults in their 20s – even into their 40s – can get acne. When severe, acne can lead to serious and permanent scarring. Even less severe cases can lead to scarring and psychological trauma. Perioral dermatitis is an acneiform eruption that occurs in women over the age of 30. Rosacea is an acne like eruption of the face that occurs in people over the age of 30. Hidradenitis is a disease that resembles cystic acne but occurs in the axilla and groin.