The skin is made up of three main components, the epidermis (thin outer layer), the dermis (thick outer layer) and beneath these is the fatty subcutaneous tissue that plumps up the skin.
Acne starts when the sebaceous glands overproduce oil or sebum secreted through the pores. Overproduction of sebum blocks the pores with a sticky mass of oil and dead cells. Bacteria present in skin will convert the mass into compounds that irritate and rupture small glands causing redness and inflammation.
The production of sebum is partly controlled by androgens, male sex hormones present in both men and women. These hormones stimulate the oil glands, typically on the face, shoulders, back and chest and are especially active during puberty. It is more common in males because they have higher androgen levels but many females also suffer usually in the week before their period.
Many teenagers have a diet based on sweets, snacks, fast foods and fizzy drinks or alcohol. These deprived them of vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy skin. A diet based on whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat and some polyunsaturated oils would considerably reduce acne.
Vitamin A is highly effective against acne. It helps to maintain a healthy skin and is abundant in liver and eggs while beta carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A, is found in dark green or orange vegetables such as spinach and carrot, and in orange fruits including apricots, mango and peaches.
Many acne sufferers are deficient in zinc. Zinc helps to prevent infection and useful against acne. Eating vitamin E-rich foods may assist healing and reduce scarring. Shellfish, nuts, lean meat, skinless poultry, yogurt and skimmed milk contained this mineral.
Vitamin C is crucial to the production of collagen which gives skin its strength and elasticity. It also plays an important role in the healing process. Citrus fruit, strawberries, blackcurrants, guavas and kiwi fruit are all good sources of Vitamin C.
The B vitamins are vital for replacing dead cells with new ones. They are found in whole grains, yeast extract, dairy food, lentils and other pulses, liver, green vegetables, seafood, lean meat, eggs, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.
Keep your skin clean. Use warm water and a mild cleanser rather than harsh scrubbing. Adjust your lifestyle by having plenty of sleep, exercise, drink a lot of water and get some sunshine. These will help to relieve your skin problems and it can also be solved by eating a well-balanced diet.