Acne is a common inflammatory skin disorder that affects a high percentage of the population at some time or another during their lifetime especially in western societies due to a possible genetic predisposition. Teenagers seem to be particularly susceptible to acne due to hormonal changes in their body at the time of puberty. Acne Vulgais is the medical term to designate acne. Acne may appear as zits, pimples, or lesions on the skin. Acne is more prominent on the face, chest, shoulders and back.
Causes of Acne
The cause of acne involves the hair follicles being stopped up by the overproduction of oil glands. Dead skin cell and oil accumulate in the hair follicle. This accumulation forms raised bumps or lesions in the area which may result in white heads or blackheads.
The sebaceous glands create an oil called sebum. Sebum acts as a lubricant for your hair and skin. As a young person’s body grows and develops, the increased amount of hormones activate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum than needed. As a result, the pores in the skin become stopped up due to too much sebum and dead skin cells that have accumulated. Swelling and redness is caused by the bacteria that is inside the pores multiplying. As a result, acne starts.
Acne may present itself in a number of ways. A whitehead is a pore that is clogged and closed. If the pore is open but stopped up, the bacteria enters and darkens the area creating a blackhead. A pimple is created when the wall of the pore opens allowing sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria to accumulate. This may appear as a red bump that is filled with pus which is the way in which the body reacts to the infection.
Stress can also be responsible for acne breakouts. When the body is under stress, hormonal level may be increased which can cause the body to produce more oil to the skin. Oil based makeups may clog the pores of your skin as well as cream and moisturizers. Vitamins should not be overused as some vitamins, B1, B6, and B12 can cause acne. Anabolic steroids should be used with caution because they stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more than needed sebum. Be cautious when cleaning your face. Because the face is extremely sensitive, avoid damage to the skin by gently cleaning the face. Warm water should be used to avoid dehydration if the water is too hot, and dryness if the water is too cold.
Certain foods that are high in fats and sugars may trigger an outbreak of acne. It is best to maintain a healthy diet including fruits, vegetables, and protein.
Women who are menstruating or pregnant may experience a higher breakout of facial acne because of the androgen hormones.
It is important to remember to avoid squeezing the pimple or acne breakout as this can leave scars and cause the infection to go deeper in the skin.
There are causes of acne that cannot be avoided. If you have a hereditary predisposition to acne, you may not be able to avoid outbreaks.
It is always wise to try to determine what triggers an outbreak of acne. If you can isolate a specific cause of acne, that will be very helpful in avoiding future outbreaks.