Hormones are responsible for a whole range of conditions including acne. Blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes can be the result of hormonal imbalance. The androgens found produced indifferent amounts by men and women are the overwhelmingly responsible for hormonal acne. The reason is that androgens stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil called sebum; the sebum is the "ingredient that fuels acne.
The age group most exposed to these processes is teenagers as their bodies start producing hormones at puberty. Androgens are male hormones naturally produced by both and female bodies. Males produce more, obviously, and the legal result is that boys suffer from acne more than girls. After the age of 20 the sebum production comes down but it can spike again at any age.
In the presence of androgens sebum is produced in more than normal quantities. The excess along with the dead skin cells can / will mix get stuck in your pores acting like a cork in a bottle. The bacteria will be blocked inside the pores while the sebaceous glands keep producing sebum. As a result the follicle will get swollen and your white cells will release enzyme mean to heal but under the circumstances will do some damage affecting the follicle walls. The follicle content will get into dermis since the result: whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, blemishes, papules.
As you can tell the process has nothing to do with your daily diet or your personal hygiene! This was a long time acne myth dismounted by doctors agreeing that food has minimal impact in developing acne. The one possible influence food can have in an acne case is if contains iodine or steroids, both substances leading to acne flare up.
The relationship between acne and hormones is not work both ways! Hormonal changes like the ones during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause are nothing out of the ordinary but can result in serious changes in the skin condition.
The menstrual cycle acne can be addressed by topical treatments, antibiotics or by changing the birth control pill since this one produce a hormone levels change.
Symptoms like adult-onset ace, irregular menstrual cycle, excessive hair growth, hair growth in unusual places, adulthood acne breakouts for the first time or unusual androgens levels can help a dermatologist understand better and identify the hormone influence in you acne condition.