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Acne – The Basics

Acne can be a blight on the lives of many people – from babies to adults. In fact, the majority of people will have to cope with acne to some degree during their lives.

There are various forms of acne and many different triggers and causes, and this blog should, hopefully help explain them so that you can tackle them yourself

First though, a bit of background…

The most common forms of acne (acne vulgaris) include:

  • blackheads (glands plugged with excess oil that discolours)
  • whiteheads (small collections of pus within glands)
  • raised red blemishes with semi-solid centres (inflamed areas of more extensive infection).

A more severe form of acne (cystic acne) has symptoms that include painful, fluid filled cysts and firm, painless lumps under the skin.

Both of these forms of acne have the potential to permanently disfigure the skin and, whilst they can erupt at any age, occur mainly during adolescence.

Nearly 85 percent of 12 to 24 year old get acne. For most people though, acne goes away by the time they’re 30.

Acne affects the glands in the skin that secrete the lubricant sebum. These glands are first activated at puberty by the hormone testosterone and start to produce oil to lubricate the skin, but the pores can become blocked resulting in spots – particularly on the face, back, shoulders and chest.

Additionally, stress, some medicines, steroids and heavy make-up can be the cause of acne. In some cases it is thought to be genetic.

Care should be taken when washing or cleansing as abrasive products and exfoliants can damage spots and spread infection. Astringent products dry out the skin and promote the production of more oil to compensate.

So basically, to combat acne involves much more than just buying a spot cream, it involves a lifestyle change if you want to beat it permanently.

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