With a few rare exceptions, everyone experiences acne at some point in their life. Medical professionals say that it is a normal part of puberty and that even 8 out of 10 adults experiences some form of acne. This is all very interesting, but when you are faced with mild to severe break-outs, the fact that is a prevalent affliction is hardly comforting. Understanding how acne is formed and the conditions that contribute may help you prevent it in the future.
What is Acne?
Acne is a condition of the skin that shows up as different types of bumps. These bumps can be blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, or cysts. If you are a teenager, you get acne because of the hormonal changes that come with puberty. There is also the genetic factor, which makes it more likely that you will have acne if your parents did. For most people, acne goes away almost completely by the time they are out of their teens.
How Does Acne Form?
The hair follicles, or pores, in your skin contain sebaceous glands, which secretes oil that lubricates your hair and skin. Sometimes hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum, and the glands may become overactive, causing pores become clogged. Bacteria can then get trapped inside the pores and multiply, causing swelling and redness.
After that, a pore gets clogged up and closes but bulges out from the skin, you’re left with a whitehead. If a pore gets clogged up but stays open, the top surface can darken and you’re left with a blackhead. Sometimes the wall of the pore opens, allowing sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells to make their way under the skin — and you’re left with a small, red bump called a pimple. More infected versions are called cysts.
How Do I Treat Acne?
Firstly, don’t touch it, squeeze it, or pick at it. It can be pretty tempting to try to get rid of a pimple. But when you play around with acne, you can cause even more inflammation by poking at them or opening them up. Additionally, the oil from your hands makes the condition worse. Most importantly, picking at pimples can leave tiny, permanent scars on your face.
The most effective way to treat acne is to use proven ingredients such an benzoyl peroxide or, better yet, tea tree oil extract. Both can reduce inflammation and redness while drying the area around the pimple, reducing oil and moisture and containing the infection.