Acne is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that occurs when dead skin cells and bacteria stick together and clog pores. Often, it causes whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples to appear on the face, chest, back and shoulders.
What Causes Acne?
Your skin is constantly working to make and shed dead skin. Normally, your dead skin cells will rise to the surface and then flake off. When you hit puberty, the sebaceous glands activate, which produces an oily substance, sebum, that naturally keeps the skin moisturized. However, sebum sometimes will stick the dead skin cells together, trapping them inside the pore. Clogged pores will then develop into blackheads, whiteheads or pimples. If there is also bacteria, you may also notice redness and swelling, which will make the pimple progress into a cyst or nodule. Acne can also be caused by genetics.
Factors That Can Worsen Acne
Hormone Changes: Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menstruation can trigger the development of acne.
Medication: Drugs that contain corticosteroids, testosterone, or lithium may worsen acne.
Diet: Studies have shown that certain dietary factors include dairy, and carbohydrate-rich foods may worsen acne.
When Should You See a Doctor?
Over the years, treatment has been developed to cure acne, but sometimes, it can be persistent. If at-home remedies fail to clear your acne, you should see your primary care doctor. They will prescribe your stronger medications. If those fail, then you will want to consider seeing a dermatologist.