Acne and pimples is one of a teenagers worst nightmares, affecting more than 85% of the teenage population. Acne can be disfiguring, but its main effects are psychological which leads to low self-esteem.
What is acne?
Acne is the result of hair follicles and pores that become clogged. The most common form of acne is known as acne vulgaris. This does not mean vulgar, it just means common acne. Many teenagers get this type of acne. The most common area affected is the face followed by the back, shoulders and chest.
Why do some people get acne and some do not?
Although, much research and studies have been conducted in this field, no one knows for sure why one person gets acne and another person doesn’t. There are several factors that are associated with developing acne.
The following is a list of possible links to acne:
* Hereditary: Acne tends to run in families where other members also have developed acne. Family history of acne is associated with earlier occurrence of acne.
* Use of anabolic steroids: Steroids affect the process of pubertal growth and sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are connected to hair follicles which secrete an oily substance called sebum. When this process is altered (by steroids) these glands and pores get clogged up, resulting in acne.
* Medication: Any medication containing…lithium (treatment for migraine and cluster headaches, bipolar disorder, depression)…barbiturates (sedative/hypnotic drugs)…androgens (steroid drugs) contribute to acne.
* Hormones: Acne may be hastened by androgens, male hormones that are present in both women and men. These androgen hormones have long been faulted for acne. They stimulate the sebaceous glands, producing more oil, which leads to clogged pores and provides a breeding ground for the acne bacteria.
* Bacteria in the pores: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is the anaerobic bacterium that causes acne. When the sebaceous glands start to over produce oil, the p.acne invades the hair follicles and starts to multiply by feeding themselves of the oil using enzymes. Acne bacteria then produces fatty acids that inflame the skin. Red and white blood cells start to defend the body of this inflammation often causing an inflammatory response, that results in pimples, whiteheads, zits, swelling and pus.
* Chemicals: Exposure to dioxins not only causes acne-like pimples, but are among the most dangerous poisons known.
* Accumulation of dead skin cells: Acne begins when the oil (sebum) mixes with dead skin cells. This combination plugs up the skin’s pores and becomes infected with bacteria that oozes into nearby tissues, resulting in swelling, nodules, pimples or whiteheads.
* Stress: Stress doesn’t cause acne, but stress often makes it worse.
The first signs of acne should be treated as soon as possible.The earlier the treatment the better chance of getting rid of it before possible scarring. There are a variety of products and treatments for acne. You may have to try different ones to see which works best on your acne.