Acne is an inflammation of the skin that is caused by an overproduction of the sebum. The sebum is the natural skin oils that transport dead skin cells to the surface. When there is an excessive production of sebum it clogs the pores and creates a plug made up of oil and dead skin cells. This plug is what causes blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples to form. In some instances these acne lesions can become irritated and enlarged and even burst, leading to swelling and further breakouts.
Acne can be influenced by a variety of factors but is primarily triggered by hormonal imbalances. When hormones are at high levels the body produces excessive amounts of the skin's natural oils that cause the pores to get clogged, leading to breakouts. Hormone levels can change in varying times throughout our lives; for instance, during adolescence, during the menstrual cycle, throughout pregnancy, or even at times of high stress. Because our hormones are unpredictable, acne can appear at any time and therefore, cannot be eliminated permanently.
There are many lifestyle changes we can make to decrease our chances of developing acne such as properly cleansing the skin, avoiding cosmetic products that cause breakouts, exercising regularly, and avoiding things that irritate the skin like certain clothing, hats, hair products etc.
People who experience severe cases of acne are recommended to see a skin care professional for treatment. Deep acne that is not treated can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement. Your treatment provider will discuss with you the number of acne procedures available and their benefits. Together, you and your practitioner will develop a course of treatment that will provide the best and safest results for your skin.