What is Acne?
Acne is an extremely common skin condition most of us will experience at some point in our lives. For many, it will come and go throughout our adult lives. Acne isn’t normally physically harmful, although it may scar in severe cases. More often, the only real damage risk is to our self-esteem.
What Causes Acne?
Most acne begins during adolescence. During puberty, the hormones begin to produce more testosterone. This increase in testosterone cause the skin to produce more oil. When the additional oil clogs the pores, bacteria can begin to grow. When this mixture of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria affects the adjacent tissue, pimples form.
Other factors can trigger acne throughout the course of your life. Certain medicines can cause acne. Normal hormone fluctuations triggered by menstruation or pregnancy can also trigger acne.
Factors that can cause acne to worsen:
- Excessive sweating
- Excessive touching of the face
- Certain medicines
- Hair hanging in the face
- Wearing items that touch or irritate the skin
Common Acne Myths
For years, we’ve been hearing myths about what causes acne. Here is the truth about a few of these myths:
- Dirt and makeup do not cause acne. They can clog the pores, but if you clean your face thoroughly with warm water (no hard scrubbing and no HOT water) twice a day, dirt and makeup shouldn’t be a problem.
- Foods like pizza, chocolate, soda, french fries or hamburgers do NOT cause acne. This myth has been around for ages, but the fact is that there is no evidence that greasy food causes acne.
- Stress does not cause acne. If anything, the reverse is true â€” acne causes stress.
Common Acne Treatments
Acne can often be treated effectively at home. Options may include: topical creams, lotions, or antibiotics to help unblock pores and reduce bacteria. Appropriate acne treatment may help restore confidence and improve self-esteem.
When Should I See a Dermatologist?
If, with regular face washing your acne continues to worsen after three months, it may be time to see a dermatologist. This is also true if your pimples become large, hard, and painful, or if acne begins when you start a new medicine.