Beautiful flawless skin.
A sign of health, beauty, and status that many young teens and older individuals search for alike.
But it seems so elusive to so many, especially to the ones to who it would matter most, teens.
Why is acne so prevalent in teenagers?
Acne, also called acne vulgaris (as in common not vulgar), seems to affect our younger counterparts at a much higher proportion than women and men who have gone through puberty.
It's no secret that acne is caused by hormones and pubescent teens are practically ranging with them!
But hormones don't make up the whole picture.
There are other parts at play that must come together to create the perfect storm that is acne.
It seems like one day, your skin looks perfect and you're ready to go on the date of your dreams but the very next, you have an angry red spot on your forehead the size of a third eye that hurts when you breathe.
So how does acne occur?
Acne is a complex condition caused by an infection of plugged hair follicles by bacteria called Cutibacterium acnes (formally called Propionibacterium acnes).
Acne begins when your skin start producing excess sebum, an oily waxy substance produced by your sebaceous glands. Sebum is produced to help keep your skin moist but too much of it wreaks havoc on your skin because it can cause plugged hair follicles.
When hyperkeratinization (or abnormally rapid shedding of skin cells) occurs along with excess sebum production, the hair follicle gets plugged which leads to an increased chance of infection by C. acnes .
C. acnes usually lives on our skin without issue but plugged hair follicles leads to infection and chronic inflammation.
Where do the hormones come in?
Excess sebum production is created by androgens, like testosterone, which is produced in greater quantities in both males and females during puberty.
With chronic inflammation and infection, acne causes unsightly marks on the skin and can affect self esteem.
So how do you get rid of acne?
There are multibillion dollar industries in the US that seeks to get rid of our skin and beauty issues and acne is certainly on their list. It seems like everyone from the corner drug store to the dermatologist has their own solution for acne.
But some of the best solutions are dietary, stress reduction, and botanical oils, low level LED red light and Blue light, and herbal extracts.