So What is Acne?
Acne describes whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. (You may also recognize slang terms like zits). Most teenagers get the type of acne called acne vulgaris, which can show up on the face, neck, shoulders, back, and chest. Sometimes if a skin pore gets clogged beneath the skin with excess oil and bacteria, the dreaded acne raises its head.
Whiteheads occur when a skin pore gets clogged, closes, and then bulges out. If a pore gets clogged but stays open, the top may darken and then you get a blackhead. Pimples are caused when dead skin and bacteria work their way under your skin. This leads to a small infection that makes your skin look red.
Causes of Acne
Even though everyone is different, acne is usually caused by the buildup of oil and dead skin in a skin pore. This build up of oil and dead skin occurs because of:
- Natural hormones – particularly active in your teens.
- Plugged skin. Skin cells can close the oil glands or pores, creating blackheads or whiteheads, (as mentioned above).
- Bacteria. Bacteria can easily infect oil glands and pores and grow very fast.
- Family background. If you have acne, your kids are more likely to have it as well.
How To Reduce Your Acne Problem
- Do NOT squeeze, pick, scratch, or rub your skin because it makes the problem worse, and it may even cause scarring.
- Regularly shampoo your hair, and try to keep it off your face if possible – especially at night.
- Keep a diary to verify if you are one of the few people whose acne gets worse if they eat certain food.
- Exercise regularly to get the old blood flowing, and make sure you get a wash as soon after as possible.
- Avoid touching your face unnecessarily.
- Try to minimize your stress levels as much as possible.
- Avoid getting sunburned.
- Change your wash cloth every day because bacteria grow on damp cloth.
- Wash your face twice daily with a gentle soap like Dove or Lever 2000.
- Always rinse really well with plenty of water.
- Only wear makeup on special occasions, and then be sure to remove it completely.