Acne is a skin condition or a common skin eruption that usually appears on the face, back, neck, chest and arm. This is common in adolescence which is caused by the inflammation of the sebaceous glands (A gland of the skin which secretes an oily substance called sebum usually into the hair follicle (the tubes that hold the hair) near the surface of the skin) through bacterial infection. Acne is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, pustules, greasy skin and occasionally cysts and scars. Acne isn't infectious, neither is it caused by diet or hygiene but can be hereditary.

This condition is common in adolescence (ages between 13 and 17). However, it is evident that some percentage of adult continues to get or develop acne.

What Exactly Causes Acne?

From the introductory part of this article, you could notice that the cause has been clearly stated, but a deeper understanding is required. Read on.

Acne comes as result of an over-activity of the gland of the skin that secretes oil substance into the hair follicle. This oil substance is sebum; a natural oil that keeps the skin smooth and supple. The oil comes to the surface of the skin through the skin pores where the body hair also grows from.

For those prone to acne, testosterone (a hormone found naturally in both men and women) triggers the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum, since their sebaceous gland is sensitive to normal blood levels of testosterone. During this process of excess production of sebum, the dead skin cells lining the opening of the hair follicles are not shed properly, hence clog up the follicles. Thus, it is this build up of oil in the hair follicles that causes blackheads and whiteheads.

This process of acne development differs from person to person; for some, the progress terminates at the stage described above, for others, it progresses to a stage where these accumulated oil in the follicles creates an environment for a bacterium named Propionibacterium acnes (a bacterial that lives harmlessly on the skin) to thrive. The substance produced by these bacteria can inflame the skin and creates the redness associated with spots.

Any Complications associated with Acne?

Yes, some of our action and reaction could really complicate acne. Consider the following:
• Greasy moisturizers can make acne condition worse
• Squeezing and picking the spot could result into further inflammation and scar.
• Steroid can cause acne as a side-effect
• Due to the type of progestogen hormone in some pills, some contraceptives pills could make acne worse. On the other hand, some of these contraceptive could actually improve acne. Seek your doctor's advice.

Is There a Way Out?

Sure there are. First thing first; it is extremely important to keep spot prone area clean. Use gentle soaps as against hash ones to wash affected areas twice daily, so the skin can maintain a certain amount of oil for its natural conditioning. Avoid scrubbing the face too hard while washing. There are ranges of treatment available; do not die in silence. There are medicines, creams and lotions that could be taken or applied on the skin. There are such creams and lotion like Azelaic acid, Retinoids, Antibiotic lotions, which when applied is to control the acnes bacteria. But one thing is very essential here, allow your doctor to do a check on you to proffer the best option that would be suited to your condition.

Most people are able to control their acne with good management and appropriate treatment. Yours is closer to you than you may ever know. Take action today.