Some scientists theorize they come about to help you keep your virginity as you're going through puberty. They think they'll ward away any advances from potential mates.
Dermatologists say they come about because of hormones and an increase in oil production.
Why-ever they come about, they suck! I've dealt with them since I went throught he changes of life around 11 yo and even deal with them today. It's always been a struggle. For someone who's battled OCD they were constantly on my mind - and face for years. I've found the hardest part is the emotional havock they reek on your self esteem. Each night I would go to sleep in fear of waking up with a new friend on my face each morning. I would imagine that everyone I saw - only saw the flaws on my face - because they are the only things I saw on my face - all the flaws.
I couldn't get past them. I never outgrew them.
I could almost say I tried "Everything" but that's not totally true. I did try a LOT of different things. I went to the dermatologist - she gave me some creme and some pills which didn't work. I tried a lot of different cleansers, astringents, and spot treatments - and yet those little bastards never went away for very long.
Finally, after years or torment I decided to get serious. I went to the dermatologist yet again and started to do weekly sessions where a this lady tracy would put acid on my face for 2 min, then pop all my zits for me. It hurt, a lot. It helped, a little.
I went back to a new dermatologist, he perscribed me ACCUTANE, the miracle cure - supposedly. Its a drug that they can't give you unless you have blood work done every couple weeks to make sure your kindneys can handle it. It also causes birth defects so you can't take it if you're pregnant, among other things.
I distinctly remember the first night I took accutane, I took a nap - which I could NEVER do since I was 2 years old. I woke up the next day in a foggy state of mind, that I had never experienced before. I couldn't remember when i went to sleep, or what day it was. I thought it was just the nap itself, but looking back it was definitely the accutane. My prescription only lasted for a month, and I only took accutane for that month. I didn't go back for the blood tests it took to get a re-fill. The month I was on it really affected my emotions. I was noticably more irratable and depressed. My lips got so chapped that they bled - everyday. My acne flared up - then went away. But my skin, throughout my entire body got really dry and I developed what looked and felt like scales on parts of my arms and legs. My eyes felt dry and weak and my hair felt different too.
Even though I was only on it for a month, my acne seemed to be reduced. I also started to use Pro-Active, which worked pretty well for me. I went from having 3 new zits a day to 1 every other day or so.
There was another shift, which was unexpected. I actually started to become even more concerned with my face - instead of a dull dissapointment that came along with a few zits on myf ace, i started to obsess over each and every one. So having a single zit, became worse than actually having a face full of them. I would look in the mirror constantly. One zit here and there would seem better than having a few all the time - but since my goal was to have a clear face - having just one at a time seemed just as bad. I was always one step away from perfection.
I grew up a little, i started to get microdermabrasions and my complexion got better and better. The combination of pro-active and microdermabrasions seemed to work. I was down to about one zit a week or so.
I also had my neck lasered 5 times and my whole face - which eliminated the zits/ ingrown hairs i would get on my neck. It was also 10x's easier to shave.
The height of my complexion and facial satisfaction came from a radom and intoxicatd comment.
I worked at the front desk of a club house that hosted a friday night bar party type thing each week. I had to stay late on fridays to wait until all the guests left the bar. On one of those nights a lady stopped off at the desk on her wait and stopped to talk to me for a while. All of the sudden she blurted out "you have such beautiful skin!" I was like, Sucess at last!!! Finally all my hard work and finantial investment had paid off!
In contrast, 3 years priord I received a totally different comment from a totally different person. One of the Asian ladies who used the sana everyday gave me the nick name "mr Shiney" it was when i first started working at the front desk and was using a topical perscribed treatment that made my face Really really oily.. hence - the name "mr Shiney" she asked me one time "why is your face so shiney" - umm, cause I use this .. nevermind.
So anyways. I had finally not only conquored my acne but acheived not just a clear complexion but apparenly beautiful skin! woo hoo!
Fast forward a few months. Due to a series of both fortunate and un-fortunate events I decided to study abroad in Australia. I remember that my first week in Sydney was accompanied by a totally zit-less face, which seemed like the first time ever. But, as nelly furtado says "why do all good things come to an end" and as the days went by in another country my face began to get more and more zits.
But these weren't just any zits, but huge knots under my skin which I later was told were "cystic acne" - which I had never really had before. I used to worry about one or two small zits here and there, but not I had a face full of the worst acne of my life, which just got worse and worse as the days went by. I dont know if it was the water, the lack of pro-active, the new cleanser i was using or the stress of being away from home, but i was not happy about it.
I eventually went to see a Doctor there and she proscribed me - you guessed it ACCUTANE. She also gave me some microdermabrasions which hurt and left me looking like a burn victim after each treatment.
In australia the restraits with acne were a lot less than in the states. My Dermatologist couldn't prescribe accutane herself so she reffered me to a Dr. who could. This time the blood work was optional and he gave me a 3 months supply.
Again, my lips began to bleed, my face began to clear up, and a strange depression set on. As my zits went away, my hair started to fall out! Another side effect was a ache in your back whenver you would lay down - which made me wonder. How does an overdose of vitamin A give you pains in your back??? (Thats what accutane is)
If losing my hair wasn't enough, I began to have this strange dull saddness come over me. It could be best described as a feeling of nothingness, like I wanted to fall asleep and not wake up.
The best opportunity I had ever had was soon enveloped by a desire to give up and come home - before my schoo's second sesion and the completion of my degree in Digital Media. At the time I didn't realize it was the accutane, and mistook it as being home sick.
I later read that there have been quite a few law suites against the makers of accuante for people who committed suicide while on the medication.. After taking the medication myself and experiencing the mental and physical side effects I think the lawsuits are very relevent and true.
After returning home I finished the 3 months of accutane, and yes - my zits did clear up dramatically. But my hair fell out just as dramatically, and i was just as depressed as ever.
When I finally finished the treatment I didn't get acne THAT bad again.
I still would get zits here and there but nothing major. I guess you could say accutane works - but is it really worth it? I would say NO. Is it possible for someone to take it, have it work, and be fine - yes. But for some, some acne isnt' worth the possibility of taking your own life.
So after years and years of obsessing about it, I can tell you what works via experience.
Much later on i went to the doctor for a cold that wouldnt' seem to go away. I asked her about my acne and she said that drinking a LOT of water was the best thing you could do to fix the problem. I tried it, and she was right. The more water you drink - the less acne you get. I'm talking like 10 glasses a day.
Another thing I found helped a lot was rinsing my face with distilled water. When you're done cleansing it, you just splash some distilled water on it - which eliminates the clorine and chemicals in tap water. it's also good to rinse your face with cold water so it shrinks your pours. So distilled water works for that too. I get one of those bottles that has a spout on it, and there is a noticable difference when you use it.
You also have to be consistent with whatever product you use. You must use it day and night - religiously. If you use pro-active - really use it and as directed and it will work. I really dont think it depends on the product as much as how you use it. Also remember that your skin has to get used to it, so if you start using something new, it will take 2 weeks for a months for your skin to adapt and to see results. If you give up before hand, it wont work. You'll probably break out at first, but just wait it out and it'll go away. But most people just stop once they start to break out even mroe than normal - and never see results then assume the product doesn't really work.
When you use a product, really use it. WHen you're washing your face dont just do it half assed - spend an entire minute washing your face, not just 10 seconds. YOu want to really clean your skin.
Make sure you wash your pillow cases at least every 3 days. It seems exessive but it's essential! Touch your face and then look at how shiney your finge gets - now imagine your whole face rubbing on your pillow case all night - every night. You're basically rubbing the dirt and oil on your face - back into your pours. So change you pillow case as often as possible. this will help out SOO Much.
The biggest problem comes from touching your zits. DONT TOUCH YOUR FACE. Don't pick at your zits! It makes it worse. Almost ALL the zits I get now are self induced, I'll touch my face - and then break out. Then i pick at the zits and it gets even worse. It's not a good cycle to get into. SO just DONT touch your face, at all - EVER.
If you have a white head it's ok to pop pit. But do it after a hot shower, or after you've softened it up with a hot wash cloth. Then use some toilet paper and slowly and gently sqeeze it. Dont use your nails. After you've gotten out all the gunk - dab it with some hydrogen peroxide and don't touch it again.
Stress is also a major cause of zits, so dont stress out over them or it actually makes them worse. Just accept them - dont obsess over them. Try to ignore them, and they'll get better.