What is acne?
Acne is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands in the skin. Acne creates blackheads or pimples. Sebaceous glands are everywhere in your skin, except in the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet. This skin condition mainly occurs in places where there are many sebaceous glands, such as on your back and face (especially your forehead and chin).
Acne is one of the most common human skin conditions. It mainly occurs between the ages of 14 and 25, which is why it is also referred to as pimples, but adults can also suffer from it. It is a harmless condition but can be very disruptive cosmetically and even lead to insecurity.
Cause of acne
Acne is usually caused by hormonal changes during puberty. This increases the size of the sebaceous glands and the production of skin lubricant (sebum). This excessive sebum production, combined with dead skin cells, can cause clogged glands. That’s when you get a blackhead. The skin of this blackhead can burst, leading to inflammation of the skin. You call this inflammation a pimple. The skin is stretched at the spot of the pimple until it bursts. This gives you small wounds. If the acne is severe and lasts a long time, it can leave you with scars. The number of bacteria on the skin also increases during puberty. Especially the so-called Proprionibacterium acnes.
In addition to hormonal changes and bacteria, there may also be other causes for the appearance or worsening of the pimples:
- Genetic factors: other family members have severe acne.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome: cysts on the ovaries.
- Environmental factors.
- Clothing that presses on the skin.
- There may also be a connection between acne and eating and drinking dairy products.
There are a lot of misunderstandings about acne. There are countless myths about that point toward eating pork, chocolate and lots of fat as a reason why people have acne. But none of those have been proven. Acne also has nothing to do with poor hygiene or a vitamin deficiency. And there is also no evidence that smoking and (excessive) sweating give pimples.
What can you do about it?
One of the easiest things is actually doing nothing. The body ultimately remedies this inflammation itself. So in any case you’ll want to;
- Leave your skin alone
- Don’t squeeze or pick your pimples.
- Do not use the sunbed.
- Do not follow a special diet
Touching your skin or squeezing it only worsens the problem and can cause more pimples and scars. Blackheads that are open can possibly be squeezed out.
And also, scientifically following a special diet does not help. What you can do is try to tackle the inflammation – the so-called P-acne bacteria – and reduce the sebum production. By influencing these two factors you reduce the chance of acne.