Acne is a very common inflammatory skin condition which occurs when hair follicles become plugged with dead skin cells and oil. Typically, acne can be found on the face, forehead, back, shoulders and chest.
Whilst acne is most common amongst teenagers, usually starting at puberty, it can affect people of all ages for varying reasons.
The oil-producing (sebaceous) glands can be particularly sensitive to blood levels of certain hormones, present in male and females. These can cause glands to produce excess oil. If the dead skin cells, which line the pores, do not shed properly, they can clog up the follicles, producing blackheads and whiteheads.
The main causes of acne are:
The causes of acne can be further exacerbated due to hormones, medication, diet and stress.
As well as being an embarrassing problem, acne can also be difficult to treat; with many over the counter solutions being far too aggressive, or not advanced enough.