Acne Questionnaire Teacher Sheet

Acne Questionnaire Teacher Sheet


To get a more scientifically in-depth assessment of acne and ways to take care of their skin, students should visit the patient education tutorial from MEDLINEplus X-Plain Patient Education Institute. They should answer questions on this resource using the Acne Questionnaire student sheet. This teacher sheet provides you with answers to the questions.


  • What is sebum? How is it produced? (An oily substance produced by sebaceous glands, sebum seeps onto the surface of the skin through openings in hair follicles.)
  • What is the pilosebaceous unit? (A pilosebaceous unit is comprised of the hair follicle and sebaceous glands surrounding it.)


  • What is acne? (Acne is a disorder of the skin's sebaceous glands that results in clogged pores and lesions, commonly called pimples and zits.)
  • Where does acne occur? (Acne tends to appear on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders.)
  • What causes a pimple to burst? (A pimple occurs when sebum is unable to pass through a hair follicle. Skin cells that line the follicle become mixed with the sebum, which causes bacteria to grow in the plugged area. When the follicle can no longer hold its contents, this mixture bursts out onto the skin surface.)
  • In what age range does acne most often occur? At what age does it usually clear up? (Acne is most common with adolescents. Nearly 85% of people between 12 and 24 develop acne. Acne tends to clear up when people reach their 30s, while some continue to have acne in their 40s and 50s.)


  • What are the main factors that cause acne? (Doctors believe acne results mostly from high hormone levels and heredity.)
  • What are androgens? What role do they play in causing acne? (Androgens are male sex hormones that increase in both boys and girls during puberty. More androgens lead to enlarged sebaceous glands, which means more sebum is made.)
  • How do hormone changes in girls influence acne development? (Hormone levels in girls and women may cause worse acne 2–7 days before their menstrual cycle begins. Acne may become worse when women start or stop taking pregnancy pills.)
  • What other factors can cause an outbreak? (Other factors that can make acne worse include: stress, wearing greasy makeup, exposure to environmental irritants, taking certain medications, and squeezing or irritating an already infected area of skin.)


  • What are comedones? (Comedones are enlarged hair follicles plugged with oil and bacteria.)
  • What is the difference between whiteheads and blackheads? (Whiteheads are closed comedones under the skin. They usually look like small, whitish bumps on the skin's surface. Blackheads are black-colored comedones that reach the surface of the skin and open up.)
  • What are cysts? (Cysts are deep, inflamed, pus-filled lesions that can cause pain and scarring.)


  • What type of doctor specializes in diseases and disorders of the skin? (Dermatologists.)
  • What are the goals of acne treatment? (The goals are to prevent scarring, reduce lesion occurrence, and minimize embarrassment caused by acne.)
  • How do acne medications work? (Acne medications work to reduce clumps of cells in hair follicles, oil production, bacteria, and inflammation.)
  • What side effects can acne medication cause? (Side effects may include skin irritation, burning, or redness.)
  • What is isotretinoin? What other treatments for acne are available? (Isotretinoin is an expensive oral drug used to treat severe acne when other acne medications do not work. Other treatments include low-dose corticosteroids, hormonal treatment, anti-androgen drugs, comedone removal, steroid injections, skin peeling therapy, and cosmetic surgery.)

Skin Care

  • What approach is recommended for washing your skin? (People with acne should wash their skin with a mild cleanser once in the morning and once in the evening. It is important to avoid scrubbing the skin, as acne can get worse. Washing after exercise and showering regularly are also recommended.)
  • What is suggested about touching or squeezing blemishes? (People with acne should not touch their skin very often. Squeezing, pinching, or picking blemishes can lead to scarring.)
  • What effect can tanning have on your skin in general? (Sun tanning can damage skin, promote aging, and cause skin cancer.)
  • What is important to remember about cosmetics and hair products? (It is important to choose cosmetics carefully. All cosmetics should be oil free and applied with care. To avoid blemishes, only hair products labeled "non-comedogenic" should be used.)
This teacher sheet is a part of the Skin Care: Acne lesson.

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