Acne is a typical problem for almost everyone, especially through the adolescent years. It’s changing hormones over the teen years that makes acne nearly universal. To minimize acne you need to understand why you get acne.

Acne results from plugged pores. Glands below your skin produce an oil called sebum. This sebum rises to your skin’s surface through pores.

But, your skin sheds old, dead cells which are replaced with new cells. A difficulty occurs when too much oil causes these old skin cells clump together and plug up the pores.

These accumulating masses of oily dead skin particles actually start blocking or plugging up the pores several weeks before they are large enough for you to notice. When this occurs the sebum that ought to rise to the surface is blocked and accumulates below the skin’s surface. An infection starts as bacteria in the mass of old skin cells and oily sebum begin to multiply.

As the sebum accumulates and the infection gets worse you begin to finally see changes to your skin. These accumulations become blackheads and whiteheads or pimples. You’ve got acne.

Acne is most prevalent in the course of the teenage years. Why is that?

As young people begin to mature the body begins producing new hormones. Both male and female adolescents produce the hormone testosterone. This in turn causes more of the oily sebum to be produced under the skin. The increase in sebum causes the skin to become oily and particles of old skin cells clump together and start to block some of the pores.

In the early twenties, young people are better able to regulate the effect testosterone has on sebum production. As sebum production is reduced the amount of dead skin cells clumping together also is reduced. And acne goes away. Adults occasionally get acne although their skin is less elastic and drier than that of a young person. As a result of this, adult acne treatment differs from that used for young people.

What can teenagers do the reduce the incidence of acne?

Keep your skin free from surplus oils and remove as many of the dead skin cells as practical. This normally requires gentle cleansing twice a day. Mild, non-alkaline cleansers work best to keep your skin free from oil and keep bacteria at bay.

Eat healthy foods. Steer clear of foods that you notice cause you face to feel oily. Those foods are not good for you. Keep away from manufactured foods with a high sugar content. Limit consumption of manufactured foods with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. Instead, eat genuine foods like whole grain breads, meats, diary products, along with fruits and vegetables.

Teenage years tend to be stressful. And stress results in additional hormones that amplify sebum flow. Learn to manage stress and exercise to help you work off daily stress.

Don’t use oily or greasy cosmetics or skin creams. These just increase the oils already on your skin as well as particles that help block your pores.

You really can appreciably reduce the odds of getting acne by keeping your skin free from excessive oils.

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