Acne, medically known as Acne Vulgaris, is a common skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of the hair follicles. Acne is not dangerous but it is often a distressing condition for sufferers and can leave scars.
It commonly occurs during puberty when the sebaceous (oil) glands come to life – the glands are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands of both males and females.
Human skin has pores (tiny holes) which connect to oil glands located under the skin. The glands are connected to the pores via follicles – small canals. These glands produce sebum, an oily liquid. The sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin.
Spots form when these follicles get blocked, the Androgen hormone is increased in puberty resulting in an accumulation of oil under the skin as well as pressure building up along the hair follicle. The bacteria P Acnes, which is present in our skin, multiplies rapidly due to the increased pressure and increased activity of cell turnover, resulting in spots and pimples. It is the increased pressure in the follicle pushing up to the surface which can result in acne scarring.