Where does acne come from? What is it that makes it so some people break out at the drop of a hat, while others enjoy clear skin their entire life? For some reason, it doesn't matter what I do, my face just likes to break out at the most opportune times.
Do you feel like you can't face the day when you have a pimple? I know some days they just have me wanting to pull out the old pj's and a book, or the heavy concealing makeup, rather than wait for acne treatments to take effect. I have a good skin care regimen that I follow, where are these zits coming from?
Basically acne is centered around the tiny hair follicles on the face. An oil gland (called the sebaceous gland) is in the hair follicle, occasionally dead cells will clog the follicle, and bacteria that are always present on your face begin to multiply and feed on the oils (called sebum) and dead cells. This all cause swelling of the follicle, and infection sets in with the multiplication of the bacteria, thus the sore red spot that makes you go running for the acne treatment aisle at the grocery store.
This all happens deep within the follicle, surface acne treatments can only do so much to prevent these clogs. In fact, if you wash with acne treatments that use harsh chemicals or abrasives (like walnut shells, or anything that feels like little particles in the soap) your skin will actually produce more oil, because it is dried out- this can cause even worse acne than you had in the first place!
A normally functioning hair follicle and skin that's got a good care regimen will usually not need any acne treatment. But there are triggers; the cycling of hormones (particularly testosterone) causes allot of oil on the skin, for boys this usually happens during puberty, and then fades. For women, it starts during puberty, and many continue to experience the need for acne treatment to varying degrees with their monthly cycle. Pregnancy also causes drastic hormonal changes, and most women want some acne treatment during this time.
What other factors contribute to a "pizza face'? Well, steroids cause a huge jump in testosterone levels, and the need for acne treatment is one of the less-severe side effects of these dangerous drugs. High insulin levels associated with diets heavy in refined sugar and with a pre-diabetic or diabetic condition also cause acne. With these conditions the skin actually becomes insulin resistant, and the sugars are passed through the oils on the skin, instead of absorbed by the body, and again, this causes the bacteria on your face to become out of balance, start an infection in a follicle, and require acne treatment. Extreme stress also raises blood pressure and oil production on the face, so a breakout around finals or a big report is not surprising. A recent study has found that milk products that are not labeled organic cause a jump in growth hormones (and therefore elevated testosterone levels) and, you guessed it, acne. Finally you may have a mild food allergy. If you suspect a food is causing your acne, just cut it out of your diet for a few weeks, if it goes away, managing your diet may be the best acne treatment!
Acne comes with puberty, but with a proper acne treatment regimen, keeping refined sugars down, and avoiding the other major causes of acne, you may be able to curb your acne down to the occasional pimple. If none of this seems to work, it may be time to see your dermatologist to determine if medications may be helpful.
Acne treatment has advanced so much in the last few years that no one need go without treatment now. Even if nothing has worked in the past, your acne can be successfully cured and the effects erased with modern methods. Scout out the net for the answers you have missed.