Why do I have acne?
Our experts answer your most frequently asked questions.
Acne usually starts at around 12-15 years for boys and 11-12 years for girls, but sometimes as early as 8-9 years.
The hormones produced during puberty, by girls as much as by boys, stimulate the sebaceous glands: they produce excess sebum, rendering the skin oily and shiny. These sebaceous glands are more abundant on the face and torso.
Meanwhile the bacteria mainly responsible for acne - P.acnes - feeds on the excess sebum and spreads. This bacteria plays a central role in acne because it stimulates:
- sebum production. The two phenomenons go hand in hand.
- keratinocyte multiplication (skin cells). The orifice of certain sebaceous glands become blocked. Sebum is no longer able to flow on the skin's surface. This results in whiteheads (mycrocysts or closed comedones) and blackheads (or open comedones).
- As a part of the skin's natural defense mechanism, the comedones become inflamed. Red spots, sometimes painful, appear; as well as whiteheads with pus inside, or even big cysts, with significant abscess.
The P.acnes bacteria is particularly difficult to beat because it has developed an amazing resistance mechanism: it produces a glue-like substance called biofilm that acts as a protective shield. This shield allows the bacteria to resist the skin's natural defenses as well as certain treatments.
This is why acne tends to settle in.