There are very few people on the planet who have not had to deal with acne in one form or another. Most people battle acne when they are in their teenage years. Acne is produced as a result of hormonal changes that accompany going from being a child to being an adult. Other individuals battle it for their entire life.
Regardless of the type of acne a person has, it is usually caused by one of four factors. These include excessive oil production, bacterial growth, pores that are clogged and the accumulation of dead skin cells.
Where Can Acne Form?
Acne forms when the hair follicles in the skin become plugged with dead skin cells and oil. In most people, it appears on their face, back and chest. That is because these are the parts of the body that have the most oil glands.
Oil glands and hair follicles are connected to each other. When they are working properly, oil glands create a substance designed to lubricate and protect the hair and skin. This natural oil leaves the oil gland and travels through the hair shaft and then lands on the surface of the skin.
The problem comes when your body starts to create too much oil and too many dead skin cells. Instead of traveling down the shaft of the hair to lubricate the skin, the oil accumulates in the hair follicles. This creates a soft plug. This soft plug is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. As the bacteria grows, the area becomes inflamed and acne is the end result.
When the pores on your skin become so inflamed, they can start to bulge, creating whiteheads. Or the plug may open and cause it to turn black, which creates blackheads. Some people mistakenly believe that a blackhead happens when dirt is stuck in the pore. But actually, it is a buildup of bacteria and oil that has darkened as a result of exposure to the air.
There are certain factors that may cause people to have worse acne than others. Top on the list is hormones. As a human goes through puberty, the oil-producing glands on the body become larger. The same thing happens while a woman goes through pregnancy. It can also happen in response to oral contraceptives.
There are certain medications that can have a bad interaction with the skin and cause acne to worsen. A final factor is diet. When a person eats a diet that is full of dairy products, sugar, chocolate and other carb-loaded foods, their acne can get worse.
Seek Help from the Experts
Thankfully, there are effective treatments out there that have proven successful in addressing acne. These include topical creams, photodynamic therapy, laser therapy, prescription medicines and much more.