Acne is a disorder that causes outbreaks of skin lesions commonly called pimples. It is caused by the skin’s oil glands making too much sebum, an oily substance, which leads to plugged pores. It also can be caused by the rapid production of a bacteria P. acnes.
Acne lesions occur mostly on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. It is the most common skin disease. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring and permanent scarring.
Many things can trigger acne in women:
Hormone changes during puberty. During puberty, girls have an increase in male sex hormones called androgens. This increase causes the glands to get larger and make more sebum.
Hormone changes as an adult. The menstrual cycle is one of the most common acne triggers. Acne lesions tend to form a few days before the cycle begins and go away after the cycle is completed. Other hormone changes, such as pregnancy and menopause, improve acne in some women. But some women have worse acne during these times. Stopping use of birth control pills can play a role as well.
• Medicines. Certain medicines, such as those used to treat epilepsy and types of depression.
• Pressure or friction on the skin. Friction caused by bike helmets or backpacks can make acne worse.
• Family history. If other people in your family have acne, there is a greater chance you will have it.