What is Acne?
Acne vulgaris (or simply acne) is a long-term skin disease that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. 1- Acne is characterized by areas of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, and greasy skin, and may result in scarring. 2- Acne Causes Factors. The resulting appearance can lead to anxiety, reduced self-esteem and, in extreme cases, depression or thoughts of suicide.
Genetics is thought to be the cause in 80% of cases. The role of diet and cigarette smoking is unclear and neither cleanliness nor sunlight appear to be involved. Acne primarily affects skin with a greater number of oil glands, including the face, upper part of the chest, and back. During puberty, in both sexes, acne is often brought on by an increase in androgens such as testosterone. Excessive growth of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which is normally present on the skin, is often involved.
Many treatment options
Are available to improve the appearance of acne, including lifestyle changes, procedures, and medications. Eating fewer simple carbohydrates like sugar may help. Topical azelaic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid are commonly-used treatments. Antibiotics and retinoids are available in both topical and oral formulations to treat acne. However, resistance to antibiotics may develop. A number of birth control pills may be useful for preventing acne in women.
Oral isotretinoin is usually reserved for severe acne due to greater potential side effects. Early and aggressive treatment is advocated by some to lessen the overall long-term impact to individuals.
In 2013, acne was estimated to affect 660 million people globally, making it the 8th most common disease worldwide. Acne occurs most commonly during adolescence, affecting an estimated 80–90% of teenagers in the Western world. Lower rates are reported in some rural societies. People may also be affected before and after puberty. Though it becomes less common in adulthood than in adolescence, nearly half of people in their twenties and thirties continue to have acne. About 4% continue to have difficulties into their forties.
Acne Causes Factors
No one factor causes acne. Acne occurs when sebaceous (oil) glands attached to the hair follicles are stimulated at the time of puberty or due to other hormonal changes. Acne Causes Factors.
Sebum (oil) is a natural substance that lubricates and protects the skin. Associated with increased oil production is a change in the manner in which the skin cells mature, predisposing them to plug the follicular pore.
see also: Acne Nutrients and Herbs
The plug can appear as a whitehead if it is covered by a thin layer of skin, or if exposed to the air, the darker exposed portion of the plug is called a “blackhead”. Read here about acne causes factors. The plugged hair follicle gradually enlarges, producing a bump. As the follicle enlarges, the wall may rupture, allowing irritating substances and normal skin bacteria access into the deeper layers of the skin, ultimately producing inflammation. Inflammation near the skin’s surface produces a pustule; deeper inflammation results in a papule (pimple); if the inflammation is deeper still, it forms a cyst.
Here are some factors that don’t usually play a role in acne:
- Food: Parents often tell teens to avoid pizza, greasy and fried foods, and junk food. While these foods may not be good for overall health, they don’t cause acne or make it worse. Although some recent studies have implicated a high-carbohydrate diet, milk, and pure chocolate in aggravating acne, these findings are very far from established.
- Dirt: Blackheads are oxidized oil, not dirt. Sweat does not cause acne and is produced by entirely separate glands in the skin. On the other hand, excessive washing can dry and irritate the skin. Acne causes factors.
- Stress: Some people get so upset by their pimples that they pick at them and make them last longer. Stress, however, does not play much of a direct role in causing acne.
In occasional patients, the following may be contributing factors:
- Heredity: If one of your parents had severe acne, it is likely that your acne will be more difficult to control.
- Pressure: In some patients, pressure from helmets, chin straps, collars, suspenders, and the like can aggravate acne.
- Drugs: Some medications may cause or worsen acne, such as those containing iodides, bromides, or oral or injected steroids (either the medically prescribed prednisone [Deltasone, Orasone, Prednicen-M, Liquid Pred] or the steroids that bodybuilders or athletes sometimes take). Other drugs that can cause or aggravate acne are anticonvulsant medications and lithium (Eskalith, Lithobid). Most cases of acne, however, are not drug related.
Occupations: In some jobs, exposure to industrial products like cutting oils may produce acne.
- Cosmetics: Some cosmetics and skin-care products are pore clogging (“comedogenic”). Of the many available brands of skin-care products, it is important to read the list of ingredients and choose those which have water listed first or second if one is concerned about acne. These “water-based” products are usually best for those with acne.
- Rosacea: This condition is characterized by pimples but not comedones and occurs in the middle third of the face, along with redness, flushing, and superficial blood vessels. It generally affects people in their 30s and 40s and older.
- Pseudofolliculitis: This is sometimes called “razor bumps” or “razor rash.” When cut too close to the skin, growing hairs twist into the skin and produce tender bumps. This is a mechanical problem, and treatment involves shaving less (growing a beard, laser hair removal). Pseudofolliculitis can, of course, occur in patients who have acne, too.
- Folliculitis: Pimples can occur on other parts of the body, such as the abdomen, buttocks, or legs. These represent not acne but inflamed follicles. If these don’t go away on their own, doctors can prescribe oral or external antibiotics, generally not the same ones used for acne.
- Gram-negative folliculitis: Some patients who have been treated with oral antibiotics for long periods of time develop pustules filled with bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics that were previously used. Bacterial culture tests can identify these germs, leading the doctor to prescribe different antibiotics or other forms of treatment.