What Causes Acne?

When it comes to the perfect answer for ‘what causes acne’, experts will just give a plain answer and it goes like – ‘the exact cause of acne is not known’.

Acne is actually the visible end result of hormonal, bacterial and inflammatory disturbances that occur at the level of pilosebaceous follicle or oil pore.

For most people who suffer from acne, it begins at puberty. During this stage, human body starts producing some hormones known as androgens. These help in enlargement and extra stimulation of the sebaceous glands in people prone to acne. Some women may get acne during their menstrual cycle or pregnancy due to sensitivity to these androgens. The over production of sebum by sebaceous glands tends to mixing the oil with dead skin cells and bacteria on the surface of the skin. This results in blockage of pores.

Bacteria multiplies in these blocked pores and result in inflammation that ultimately leads to the spots and pustules associated with acne. Most people apply harsh materials on their skin to get rid of acne but make it grow worse.

The acne bacteria, biologically known as propionobacterium acnes tend to grow and multiply the retained oil. The sebum acts as a source of nutrition for the bacteria. The bacteria release chemicals inside the pore. The chemicals work towards alerting and alluring white cells from the blood. This leads to inflammation. You can see inflammation on the skin in the form of pimples or zits.

Once these inflamed hair follicles and glands enlarge, the surrounding skin becomes inflamed and also results in larger lumps and cysts known as nodules.

Inflammation of skin can also result in damage of cells that create collagen. When collagen production is reduced, the skin thins and seen as depressed scars.

Here are some common causes of acne:

a) Stress

Excess stress can increase the production of acne enhancing hormones such as cortisol. This aggravates the skin of these having acne.

b) Genes

Acne is often genetic.

c) Medication and Steroids

Certain medication and steroids tend to aggravate acne.

d) Heavy or oily make up

A lot of makeup or oily makeup can clog the pores with harsh chemicals, giving an opportunity to bacterial growth and multiplication.

e) Over abrasive cleansing

Most astringent based facial products can dry out the skin resulting in over production of sebum. Using harsh exfoliation can also damage existing spots and spread infection.

f) Playing hard

Most people try to pick or squeeze blackheads, whiteheads and spots that can result in deeper infection in to the skin, causing scarring.

g) Inflammation

Inflamed skin is characterized by redness, warmth, swelling and discomfort. It occurs due to the immune system of the body that acts to get rid of a foreign element.

h) Rupturing of wall

The walls of the blocked follicle usually rupture. Oil, dead skin cells and bacteria usually found on the surface of the skin and irritate it. This results in small areas of inflammation.

i) Deeper a blockage of pores

Deeper blockage of pores results in a damage path. This way, the oil gets collected in the skin resulting in small flesh colored or white colored bumps. Whiteheads usually result in red colored inflammations known as pimples or zits.

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