What is acne?

Acne is an inflammation of the sebaceous glands in the skin. This creates blackheads and pimples. Sebaceous glands are everywhere in your skin, except in the palms of your hands and soles of your feet. This skin condition mainly occurs in places where there are many sebaceous glands, such as on your back and face (especially your forehead and chin).

Acne is one of the most common human skin conditions. Everyone has problems with it. It mainly occurs between the 14th and 25th year of life, which is why it is sometimes referred to as pimples, but adults can also suffer from it. It is a harmless condition, but can be very disruptive cosmetically and even lead to insecurity issues.

Cause of acne

Acne is usually caused by hormonal changes during puberty. This increases the sebaceous glands and produces more skin lubricant (sebum). This excessive sebum production in combination with dead skin cells can cause clogged glands. Then you get a blackhead. The wall of this can crack, leading to inflammation of the skin. You call this inflammation a pimple. The skin is stretched at the spot of the pimple until it bursts. This gives you small wounds. If the acne is severe and lasts a long time, you can even have scars. The number of bacteria on the skin also increases during puberty. Especially the so-called Proprionibacterium acnes.


In addition to hormonal changes and bacteria, there may also be other causes for the appearance or worsening of the pimples:

  • Genetic factors: other family members have severe acne.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: cysts on the ovaries.
  • Stress.
  • Environmental factors.
  • Cosmetics.
  • Press clothing on the skin.
  • Malnutrition.
  • There may also be a relationship between acne and eating and drinking dairy products.

There are a lot of misunderstandings about acne. It would be related to eating pork, chocolate and lots of fat. This has not been proven. Acne also has nothing to do with poor hygiene or a vitamin deficiency. There is also no evidence that smoking and (excessive) sweating give pimples.

What can you do about it?

One of the easiest things is actually doing nothing. The body ultimately resolves this inflammation itself. You want in any case;

  • Leave your skin alone
  • Don’t squeeze or pick your pimples.
  • Do not use the sunbed.
  • Do not follow a special diet

Sitting on your skin or squeezing it only aggravates the problem and can cause more pimples and scars. Blackheads that are open can possibly be expressed.

Sunlight helps as well  even despite the fact that people don’t think it does. In fact, it only gives a risk of burning. It is therefore important to spread yourself well. Also following a special diet does not help.

What you must and can do is try to tackle the inflammation – the so-called P-acne bacterium – and reduce the sebum production. By influencing these two factors you reduce the chance of acne.