Acne is a common human skin disease found among teenagers as they enter puberty. Acne occurs most commonly during adolescence, and sometimes might continue into adulthood. It affects mostly the skin over the face, the upper part of the chest and the back. Hormonal imbalance during the puberty stage is responsible for the teen age acne. Boys produce these hormones in high concentrations. This is why teen age boys suffer more severely from acne as compared to girls. Often teen acne is considered as just a phase and is not treated. However, proper treatments during the very first stage of acne results in the reduction of acne all through the teenage years.
The pores on our skin consist of a type of gland called the sebaceous glands. These glands produce a type of oil called sebum which is required as a lubricant to our skin and hair. Most of the time these glands produce only the right amount of oil required. As a teen’s body begins to mature and develop, though, hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum, and the glands may become overactive. Pores become clogged if there is too much sebum and too many dead skin cells. Bacteria can then get trapped inside the pores and multiply, causing swelling and redness — the formation of acne.
The above mentioned cause of acne is due to hormonal changes. But it is also found that acne is caused due to improper diet, psychological reasons of stress and depressions, and due to unhygienic reasons. It could also be caused due to genetic reasons where acne is inherited from parents or ancestors. Sometimes the wall of the pore opens; allowing sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells to make their way under the skin — and you’re left with a small, red bump called a pimple. Sometimes pimples have a pus-filled top from the body’s reaction to the bacterial infection. Blackheads, also known as ‘open comedones’, are follicles that have a wider than normal opening. They are filled with plugs of sebum and sloughed-off cells and have undergone a chemical reaction resulting in the oxidation of melanin. This gives the material in the follicle the typical black color. Whereas, whiteheads, also known as ‘closed comedones’, are follicles that are filled with the same material, but have only a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Since the air cannot reach the follicle, the material is not oxidized, and remains white. Blackheads are formed mainly on the nose, whereas, whiteheads are formed on one’s face.