The causes of acne can be varied – in fact, acne is the most common skin affliction all over the world. You first realise you suffer from it as your skin develops blackheads, whiteheads, red or yellow spots and becomes consistently greasy. These are telltale signs and it is such a common problem, that it is useless going to see a doctor to try and diagnose your problem. Acne isn’t specifically linked to a particular body type, skin colour or age. However, it’s far more likely that during puberty, the changes happening within your body will trigger the onset of the ‘acne process’. What most people do not realise is that you don’t necessarily grow out of it: approximately 15% of women over 40 are still suffering from acne, although men seem to have a somewhat easier time as they get older.
The most unfortunate fact about acne is that it feels most at home on the face, although it can also develop on the neck, back, chest or shoulders. Because the most oil-producing glands (the sebaceous) on your skin are found in these areas, they are most prone to developing acne related conditions.
Extensive research has been conducted over the years as to the causes and cures of acne, and nowadays most dermatologists state 4 main factors as the root cause for suffering from acne:
Firstly, the body is very sensitive to male hormones – specifically, the androgens. Women and men both carry these male hormones but men have much higher levels than women, therefore being more affected than women. Having said that, large quantities of these hormones are not necessary to get the oil-producing glands into action, which basically pump out oil to the skin – called sebum.
Secondly, oil-producing glands excrete oil into skin pores – small holes at the top of a hair duct. At the bottom of these ducts one finds a hair follicle – a specialized cell that produces a hair. Oil glands open about half-way into the duct, which is lined by cells similar to those found on the surface of the skin. If you suffer from acne, these cells tend to clog the pores when they die, causing the duct to narrow and such clogged up pores are prone to bacterial infection, resulting in acne.
Thirdly, such narrowing and excessively secreted sebum levels result in blocked pores – the starting point for acne. Acne causing bacteria thrive on such conditions, rapidly multiplying, and causing inflammation and infection, manifesting as an acne breakout.
Fourthly, any inflammation calls the body’s defense system into action, which results in white blood cells being produced to fight the bacteria and repair any damage. These white blood cells are what we refer to pus – yellow or greenish fluid buildup produced in response to any inflammation.
Lastly, if the blockage does not result into an infection, the oil and dust simply cause a blocked pore, which we commonly refer to as a blackhead.
Before going out and buying any of the latest acne products advertised on TV, it’s might be worth conducting some research on the actual causes of acne, in order to find a cure which suits you best.
Visit www.acnegraveyard.com for my Free newsletter containing tips and advice to Cure Your Acne Permanently.