Although the exact causes of acne are not clear. It is the visible result of a disturbance between hormones, bacteria and inflammation taking place in the oil glands(sebaceous) found in the hair follicle.
As this imbalance advances, the gland becomes overactive and creates a greater amount of oil. The inside of the follicle wall becomes saturated and more sticky. Which builds up and becomes blocked creating comedones (blackheads and whiteheads).
The acne bacteria feeds, grows and multiplies in the oil from the blocked pores. The bacteria then releases chemicals which alerts white cells in the blood. In the bodies attempt to eliminate these chemicals, inflammation is causes. Resulting in papules and pustules (pimples and zits).
The inflamed pores (hair follicle) and the oil gland causes the skin around it to also become inflamed creating nodules (lumps and cysts). The inflammation also harms collagen cells. The cell then becomes imbalanced. If it produces less collagen this create what is called thinning of the skin or depressed scaring. If it produces more collagen, this will thicken the scar.
Exterior factor that aggravate your acne do so in the same way. It is a combined effect of the acne bacteria, hormones(male – testosterone and dihydrotestosterone) and a overactive oil gland blocking pores and creating inflammation. When the pores are blocked at the surface it encourages more oil production creating bacteria and inflammation which lead to pimples or zits.
Hair spray, oil based cosmetics, oils and greases can contribute to blocking the hair follicle at the surface. Sports equipment such as helmets, pads and hats. damp, humide or sweaty clothes that are in contact with your skin for an extended amount of time can also block pores.
Androgenic hormonal medication found in steroids and progestin, found in birth control pills, can increase oil production in the glands which aggravates acne.
Bad eating habits and poor hygiene will not cause acne. This is the most common of acne myths. However, over-washing can cause irritation and worsen your inflammation. Washing twice daily with a salicylic acid(2%) face wash will clear your pores without dehydrating your skin.