Acne is a term that’s used to describe whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.
Skin pores contain oil glands which naturally lubricate your skin and hair. But, sometimes, if a pore gets clogged beneath the skin with excess oil and bacteria, you get acne!
Whiteheads occur when a pore gets clogged, closes, and then bulges out. If a pore gets clogged but stays open, the top may darken and you’ve got a blackhead. A pimple happens when dead skin and bacteria work their way under live skin. This leads to a small infection that makes your skin red.
So, What Causes Acne?
In general terms, acne is usually caused by the build up of oil and dead skin in a pore. This build up of oil and dead skin is caused because of:
Adolescent males start to produce testosterone, a potent hormone that increases the production of oil – sebum on the skin. Once sebum production increases, it can build up in hair ducts and pores, producing pain, swelling and the formation of pus.
This has been the subject of much debate as many believe high levels of fat and sugar in one’s diet can bring about acne whilst others, including many in the medical community, dispute this. What is clear is that one’s diet may affect hormone levels and therefore could cause acne indirectly.
Studies have shown that long periods of stress can increase skin problems since anxiety imbalances hormone levels.
Certain drugs including androgens, lithium and barbiturates are known to cause acne. If you’re on regular medication, it may be advisable to consult with your GP or pharmacist to find out more information.
Wearing articles of clothing or other rough materials that can irritate the skin may produce a breakout in clusters. Wearing a cap on a hot, humid day for an extended period of time is a good example of how this can happen.
Some individuals have outbreaks after weeks of continuous sunbathing. Tanning lotions and sun block can sometimes make matters worse by blocking up pores.
10 Great Tips On How To Reduce Acne and Scarring
- Don’t squeeze, pick, scratch, or rub your skin as it makes the problem worse, and it might even cause scarring.
- Regularly shampoo your hair, and try to keep it off your face if possible – especially at night.
- Eat fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds and drink at least 8 glasses of mineral water each day.
- Eat prebiotics foods or take a probiotic supplement. This will help restore the levels of beneficial bacteria that are destroyed by antibiotics, which will aid your body to eliminate waste and toxins more effectively.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine. Caffeine increases the levels of stress hormones in the body and can aggravate acne.
- Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise will increase blood flow to the skin and aid healing, as well as improve the health of your internal organs, enabling them to get rid of waste and toxins more effectively.
- Minimize your stress levels. Stress is one of the biggest precursors of acne. Controlling stress can reduce the release of the stress hormone cortisol, and therefore reduce the severity of acne. If you suffer from stress regularly, learn to recognise the early symptoms and take action.
- Avoid getting sunburned.
- Wash your face twice a day with a gentle soap. Always rinse really well with lots of water. And remember to change your wash cloth every day, as bacteria can grow on damp cloth.
- Only wear makeup on special occasions, and then make sure you remove it completely.