What Is Acne

Acne Explained

Acne Vulgaris (AKA ‘Acne’) is an extremely common skin condition that effects the oil glands and pores at the base of the small hair follicles on our face, neck, and back.. for many its at its most active during puberty when the sebaceous glands are being overstimulated by the surge in both testosterone which is largely found in men, but is also present to a lesser degree in women too..

The pores in our skin have a direct connection to the oil glands beneath the skin, connected to the pores via the follicles, these glands produce a natural oil known as Sebum..

One of Sebum’s jobs is to carry dead skin cells through the follicles and out through the pores and onto the skins surface where they can be washed away…Sometimes these follicles get blocked, the sebum gets trapped along with the old dead skin cells, bacteria develops and this is when spots and pimples start to appear

For some, Acne can be a short term phase or problem, for others it can be an issue that effects them for years

What Causes Acne

The true cause of why some people get Acne and others do not has not been clearly recognised, however, most experts agree that the Androgen hormones such as testosterone and Oestrogen play a major part.

The production of androgens increase dramatically as we reach puberty, this encourages the oil glands to pump out excessive Sebum, this in turn breaks down the cellular walls in the skins pores, and causes an increase in the bacteria responsible for acne – Propionibacterium Acnes ( P. acnes).

Commonly found on the skin and also in healthy hair follicles, when present in normal amounts it does not cause any problems, but if it is allowed to build up, it can result in the appearance of acne

Genetics can play a part too… If one or both parents for instance suffered from acne, there is a good chance that you will too

Medications can cause acne as a side effect, bodybuilders for instance often experience acne breakouts when taking steroids or testosterone boosters.


For some women, they find that they develop acne during pregnancy, no doubt due to the spike in androgen hormones, breakouts tend to disappear once the pregnancy is over and hormones have returned to normal.. Others find that they get an Acne break out each month during their period.

Cosmetics – especially oil based ones can also be a cause, or will certainly aggravate the problem

Who Can Get Acne

Basically anybody at any age can get acne, although predominantly a problem linked to adolescents, it can also effect adults and can occur at any time in your life.

Can Acne Be Cured

There is no defining cure for Acne, but there are ways to treat and clear acne breakouts, and for many of you these breakouts, once treated, will never return.. There are many treatments ranging from creams, lotions and scrubs for mild breakouts to stronger, prescription based creams, gels and pills used to tackle more serious problems, for some, antibiotics can play a part in treating Acne.

As well as these topical treatments, you can also have cosmetic treatments such as laser therapy and skin peels.

There is almost certainly a solution to your acne – however bad the problem is so don’t worry!!

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