Why Do I Get Acne?
Regular acne (acne vulgaris) usually affects the face during puberty. However, during adulthood, it can also affect other parts of the body such as back, chest and arms. Acne is an inflammation of the skin. It is caused by changes in the skin structures around the hair follicles and the glands around it. Acne is considered an overreaction to normal levels of the male hormone testosterone.
Oils produced by the sebaceous glands combine with naturally occurring dead skin cells and block the hair follicles. This provides a perfect environment for skin bacteria such as Propionibacterium acnes to multiply out of control. Acne lesions start as a blockage (comedo) in the hair follicle.
The glands around hair follicles in the skin produce a natural oily substance called sebum. Sebum is secreted around hair follicles to lubricate hair and skin. These glands start to produce more oils when stimulated by a number of factors.
Increased oil production mixed with dead skin cells can clog skin pores, resulting in whiteheads (closed comedo) or blackheads (open comedo). The bacteria P. acnes uses the oils and dead skin cells to grow. This causes the affected skin area to become inflamed, resulting in a visible lesion.
A number of factors make the condition worse. These include stress, overactive hormones, overproduction of oils stimulated by stress and hormones and the build-up of dead skin cells.
Is Diet to Blame?
While diet is sometimes blamed for causing acne, there is little scientific evidence that diet plays a major role in its development. However, some studies suggest a link between the condition and the consumption of certain dairy products such as milk, cream cheese and cottage cheese. Others have suggested that hormones in milk are to blame.
Body acne can cause anyone who suffers from it to feel self conscious at the beach, the gym etc. It affects both men and women. Many people with facial acne also suffer from body acne. However, body acne can also appear in adulthood without affecting the face.
To successfully get rid of acne, a person needs to avoid stress, eat a healthy diet (reduce refined sugar, milk and animal fat) and treat the affected skin areas. Many natural treatments are available.
Look for treatments that contain ingredients that can speed up the removal of dead skin cells (such as the beta-hydroxy acid salicylic acid). Unclogging of the skin’s pores will eventually get rid of the inflammation associated with this condition.