Exactly what causes acne? Acne develops when cells and natural oils begin to
block up tiny hair follicles in the skin. Bacteria work their way into the
plugged up follicles and start multiplying. When the body's immune cells move
in to attack the bacteria, the results of the battle are the classic symptoms
of acne -- swelling, redness, and pimples.
Acne medications help by interrupting this process in different ways. Some
over-the-counter and prescription acne creams help by unplugging the follicles.
Others - such as antibiotics - kill the bacteria that move into the follicles.
The oral retinoid Accutane works differently by reducing the amount of oil
secreted by glands in the skin.
There is no best acne treatment. Some people do fine using one acne cream,
although many need a combination of approaches to control their teen acne.
Read more about acne.