Acne’s What and Why
Acne is considered pimples, zits, blackheads, and whiteheads. These are all part of the same irritating ailment that affects so many, especially teenagers. In fact, many people consider acne the most irritating thing about puberty. At a time when teenagers tend to be very self-conscious and are going through physical changes, cracking voices, menstrual cycles, facial hair, and hair growing in strange places, these darn pimples come along to make things even more complex. Where in the world do they come from
Common acne is officially known as acne vulgaris. This blemish producing blight is caused by multiple factors. During puberty the body produces an excess of the male hormone testosterone. Also, female menstrual cycles cause changes in the body that throw the hormone balance a bit out of whack. Add to this the other changes in the adolescent body that begins the process of turning them into adults, and acne is on its way. Much of the problems caused by acne come from the bacteria that is normally present on skin, a staff like bacteria that grows in abundance, especially in clogged pores filled with dead skin cells.
Other things can cause acne as well, or make it worse. Exposure to too much chlorine can cause a long lasting and nasty type of acne, and use of anabolic steroids can cause acne, in addition to many other health problems that they can cause.
For many years people thought that acne was caused by poor hygiene and kids would scrub their faces raw in an effort to open up pores and get rid of pimples and blackheads. That actually may make the problem worse by damaging the skin. Also for many years people thought that certain foods would make some people more prone to acne. Fried foods were blamed, as was chocolate. This may have been a natural assumption. Teenagers often eat candy bars and other chocolate foods. Also teenagers tend to be fans of fried foods, such as hamburgers, French fries, tator tots, fish and chips, and fried chicken. Many people associated oily skin with greasy foods, but there is no medical or scientific connection. Acne is a nasty, but natural part of growing up.
Most people outgrow acne as their bodies change and puberty ends. In fact, by the time most people reach their twenties they are through with the ravages of acne. For a few people it may hang on longer, but for the vast majority of people it is a temporary and passing thing. Time will cure most cases as a person passes into adulthood.
The types of acne blemishes are divided into two different categories, inflamed and non-inflamed. Non-inflamed blemishes are called blackheads or whiteheads. The whitehead is a clogged follicle that plugs the skin pore. The mass is made up of dead skin cells. The blackhead is in essence the same thing, but it has opened up and become oxidized, creating the darker tint. Many people think that blackheads come from dirt, but that is not the case.
Inflamed blemishes are those that are commonly call pimples or zits. These blemishes are usually reddish and look inflamed. The red pimple is classic. A bit more troublesome is the larger cyst. Pimples develop when a whitehead does not turn into a blackhead and plugs the pore so that it can be expelled. Instead the pore wall breaks down and becomes a repository for oil, dead skin cells, bacteria and other debris of the body. White blood cells congregate in the blemish to fight the infection, and form a puss substance, that can become painful. Everyone is familiar with pimples. The larger cyst can be even more painful, and it can flair up again and again and may require medical attention.
There are many misconceptions about acne. Some people think that the sun will cure acne and seek a suntan as a cure all. However, this has no positive effect, simply darkening the skin just makes pimples harder to see, and the side effects can be wrinkles and skin cancer in later life. However, there are many treatments available for acne that can lessen the impact it has on the lives of the victims. Many good over the counter remedies, natural remedies, and when needed prescription, drugs can help.
Acne is a skin disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Acne occurs when there is an excessive secretion of sebum, a substance from the hair follicles. The excess secretion becomes the target for dust and bacteria to accumulate to later develop into acne.
Acne can affect people of all ages and races. But occurrence of acne is very high among adolescent people. According to studies, almost 85 percent of adolescents and young adults within the age range of 12 and 24 years old develop acne to a varying degree.
During adolescence, the hormonal levels of a person become elevated and they stimulate the sebaceous glands which are attached to the hair follicles. As an effect, greater amount of sebum is secreted.
The ages of 10 and 13 are when young people are most vulnerable to acne. Normally, acne usually lasts for 5 to 10 years although there are many cases where one experiences acne up until a later age.
People with poor hygiene are at a risk of getting acne. Since acne is caused by bacteria, people who are exposed to dust and dirty and do not wash their faces during bed time will most likely develop acne. Also, a person who uses dirty pillowcases will have higher risk of getting acne.
Acne can also be inherited. So people who have a family history with acne will be at risk of developing acne too.
People who take certain drugs like those used to treat epilepsy and depression may be at risk of acne breakout.
Acne affects both men and women. But among men, the likelihood of getting more severe and long lasting forms of acme is higher compared to women. Even then, more women have close relationships with their dermatologists than men.
Intermittent acne affects women due to hormonal changes that usually come with their menstrual cycle. This kind of acne is also caused by excessive use of cosmetics. Some cosmetics, especially those which are not oil-free or non-comedogenic may actually affect the pores of the skin and later develop acne.
More women compared to men are getting infected with perioral dermatitis characterized by small pustules and papules form on the chin and around the mouth.
Men and women who love to wear tight hats, backpacks, jeans, or any tight gear and paraphernalia are at risk with developing acne because skin friction can create irritation and may eventually trigger acne.
Middle aged adults are most likely to get affected with Acne Rosacea. The effect of this kind of acne includes flushed face and red nose due to inflamed bumps.
Infantile acne affects newborn babies. This is a mild kind of acne caused by fetal hormones. After a few weeks, infantile acne just naturally disappears.
More men are affected with a severe form of acne called Acne conglobata. This kind of acne is an advanced form of nodular cystic acne vulgaris and this can extensively attack the face, chest and back.
Another interesting study states that occurrence of acne is higher among Caucasians compared to other colors.