Spots

What is Acne?
Acne is a skin problem that causes you to get spots

Who gets acne?
Acne can happen at any age but it is commonest in teenagers. We get acne because of the hormonal changes that come with puberty.

If my mum or dad had acne will I get it as well?
No, not necessarily but it does mean you are more likely to get acne.

Different names for acne
Spots, zits, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, acne vulgaris (the name your doctor gives it)

Where do you get them?
Spots can occur on your face, neck, shoulders, upper back and chest. Most people get them worst in only one or two of these areas.

The “Science”
The hair follicles, or pores, in your skin contain the oil glands (sebaceous glands) and these glands make sebum. Sebum is an oil which moisturises your hair and skin and stops it from drying out.

As we hit puberty the hormones make the sebaceous glands make more sebum and sometimes the glands become overactive.

If there is too much sebum the pores can get blocked, this can be made worse by too many dead skin cells.

Bacteria can get trapped in these blocked pores and multiply causing swelling and redness: the start of acne.

A whitehead: This is a blocked pore which is closed and bulges out from the skin

A blackhead: This is a blocked pore which is open so that the top surface darkens.

 
The King's School 2008