Acne is a common skin condition that affects most people at some point in their lives. It is caused when the pores in the skin (hair follicles) get blocked with dead skin cells, oil that is over-produced by the skin (sebum), and by dirt. Acne can be painful, and often causes sufferers to pick or scratch the sore skin. Acne can be in the form of blackheads or whitehead spots; with dried-out skin around oily, spotty areas, or it can consist of big, red spots with pus. These spots can turn into scars or cysts.
Here are 5 common causes of acne:
Eating lots of sugar can cause acne, because it causes inflammation.
Pollution and poor-quality air makes acne worse, as the build-up of toxins on the skin further blocks pores or irritates the skin.
Dirt getting through the pores of the skin makes acne worse.
Some skin products or certain medications can make acne worse. This can be down to particular product ingredients, or non-targeted effects (commonly known as ‘side effects’ of prescribed medication or recreational drugs).
Hormones and stress can cause or worsen acne. Teenagers are common sufferers of acne because hormones are all over the place, along with the added stress of exams, discovering identity and forming relationships.
Photograph: Samantha Jones Photography