You should understand what causes acne in order to effectively prevent and deal with outbreaks of acne. It’s an exceptional person who will not suffer at least one outbreak. But once your realize the cause of an acne outbreak you can take steps to prevent acne and deal effectively with further outbreaks.

Sometimes pores in your skin have a hair follicle and some will not have hair follicles. And, just under your skin are sebaceous glands that produce sebum, or skin oil, that helps keep your skin flexible. The pore is the conduit through which the sebum reaches the surface to lubricate the skin.

What Does This Have to Do With Acne?

The uncomplicated explanation is that acne is a bacterial infection in a plugged pore. The gorged and infected pore becomes noticeable. You label these areas pimples or zits. They are also called blackheads or whiteheads. The skin surrounding this infection can become tender and become red.

This whole process begins some days before you are able to notice it. After several days the infected pore has become so inflamed and enlarged that you detect a brand new pimple.

What Causes Acne?

What has changed to all of a sudden produce these pimples?

Acne occurs mostly in adolescents. Part of the maturing process entails the release of hormones like testosterone. Both young men and women begin releasing testosterone at some stage in adolescence. This causes many organs to have to adjust to this new stimulus. The sebaceous glands just under your skin are one particular organ that requires time to accommodate these hormones.

The sebaceous glands manufacture sebum. This is the skin oil that lubricates the skin. It enters the pores to reach the surface of the skin. But, for a while these sebaceous glands don’t cope well with the testosterone and become enlarged and start overproducing sebum.

An additional factor involves stress hormones. Most everyone agrees that adolescence is a period of anxiety. So, these added hormones just add to the sebum production, making the situation even worse.

While all this seems quite bad, time is on your side. Usually during your early twenties you stop going through these outbreaks. The reason is that the sebaceous glands have gotten use to the new stimulus of testosterone. The sebaceous glands revert back to their natural size and sebum production also returns to normal. Your acne goes away by itself.

But, before this occurs these glands still create too much sebum. The sebum flows to the surface of the skin. Here it encounters dead skin cells. You skin is continually renewing itself and dead skin cells on the surface are lose and may be rubbed off. So, when the sebum encounters these tiny dead skin cells a glob is formed. These globs can obstruct the pores.

Here is where the difficulty begins. This mixture of dead skin cells, skin bacteria and sebum form a mass that obstructs a pore. As more sebum is produced it begins to back up since the pore’s exit to the surface is plugged up. Bacteria start to multiple in this favorable environment. After a while they influence the surrounding skin and cause irritation.

If the obstruction is close to the opening of the pore, air can get to the plug and darken it. This is now a blackhead. If the plug is deeper in the pore, the pore could be completely closed off from the outside air. The contents remain light in color. This is now a whitehead which is usually called a pimple or zit.

Now that you understand what causes acne, you’re ready to handle it.

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