Acne is an unpleasant condition that causes spots, oily skin and even skin that is hot or painful to touch. Almost everyone with acne experiences breakouts on their face. More than half of people are affected on their back and around 15% of people will experience breakouts on their chest.

Acne: What are the Causes and What Can We Do?

So, what are the causes?

  • Certain hormones cause sebaceous glands to produce larger amounts of sebum
  • Some hormones thicken the inner lining of the hair follicle, blocking pores
  • Acne can run in families
  • Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy
  • Smoking

When the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum, this mixes with dead skin cells and can form a plug in the follicle. If the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it bulges outwards, causing a whitehead. If it is open to the skin, it creates a blackhead.

Self Help Techniques

  • Don’t wash your skin more than twice a day
  • Use a mild cleanser with lukewarm water – very hot or cold water can make acne worse
  • Do not squeeze or “clean out” spots
  • Avoid wearing too much makeup – use water-based, non-comedogenic products
  • Remove makeup thoroughly
  • For dry skin, use fragrance-free, water-based emollient
  • Wash your hair regularly and avoid letting it fall across your face