Acne is a common skin disorder that most young people get in early puberty. It is caused by inflammation of the small oil glands (sebaceous glands) that surround the fine hairs on the face and chest.

The severity of acne increases and, typically, reaches its peak around the ages of 17 to 19. For most people, acne tends to go away by the time they reach their mid-20s; however, very sensitive people may continue to have the disorder until they reach their 40s.


During puberty, there is an increased production of male sex hormones in both boys and girls that stimulate increased production of sebum [oily substance] by sebaceous glands. A bacteria called Propionebacterium acnes thrives on the increased production of sebum releasing certain enzymes which bring on the inflammatory reaction.

Making it worse

  • Do not squeeze or pick at the pimples.
  • Avoid heavy makeup or foundation as they may block the pores of the glands
  • Avoid cold, heat or sunlight.
  • If you think the pimples are aggravated by certain food, better to avoid them if possible.

Things that help

  • Washing your face twice a day with a mild cleanser which can open up the pores, but avoid scrubbing the face which can make it worse.
  • Healthy diet, drinking adequate amount of water and exercising regularly.

Please consult the online doctor for bespoke, evidence based and confidential medical advice.