Acne is very common skin condition, and the most important thing you should do in order to treat it is to find out what causes acne. There are few theories about what is the main cause of this skin disorder. Also, there are different myths that you should know to avoid useless or even dangerous actions that you can perform in order to get rid of acne.
What is Acne and how Does it Look Like?
Acne is a pilosebaceous unit disorder. Pilosebaceous unit is an epidermal invagination found on most surfaces of the human body. Pilosebaceous unit consists of the sebaceous gland, hair follicle and sebaceous duct.
Acne can appear in different forms:
Blackheads – noticeably visible black spots that usually appear on the face, chest and upper back. Blackheads are open comedones. There’s a myth that blackhead are caused by dirt. It’s not the truth. I will describe how blackheads appear later.
Whiteheads – are also clearly visible spots. But they are white, because they are closed comedones. It means that the material that is inside of whitehead is blocked, and air cannot reach it and oxidize it.
Papulesare– small visible radish bumps that appear on the skin. They don’t have head like blackheads or whiteheads. Papules are inflamed comedones.
Pustules – appear when white blood cells that attack P. acnes bacteria pile up in blocked pore. This causes inflammation and pus production.
Nodules are large bumps that appear on the skin surface. It is a severe form of acne. Nodules are deep and painful.
Cysts are another form of acne. Cysts are deep and painful formation that are caused by deep inflammation. It appears when bacteria break walls of pore and leak into nearby areas.
How Does Acne Develop?
Acne develops when enlarged oil glands in the skin produce excess of oil, and hair follicles become blocked. It triggers growth of Propionibacterium acnes. These bacteria produce chemicals and enzymes. Our immune system sends white blood cells to eliminate these bacteria, and they cause inflammation.
Obviously, acne begins from overproduction of oil in hair follicles and pores, and where are three main causes of acne:
- Oil overproduction in enlarged oil glands in hair follicles
- Hair follicles blockage
- Propionibacterium acnes growth within the hair follicles
What Causes Acne?
Now we will discover all common causes of acne that you can find in books, magazines and on Internet websites. Nobody is completely sure what causes acne. Doctors say that acne is caused by a complex set of factors. Everyone has a different type of skin, health conditions and environment. That is why factors may be different for every individual.
Hormones are the main cause of acne in teenagers. Hormones increase during puberty. High hormonal level cause overproduction of sebum in sebaceous glands. Also, hormonal balance changes cause different forms of acne during periods, pregnancy and menopause.
As we know, when bacteria Propionibacterium Acnes grow within the hair follicles, they attract white blood cells. Immune system attacks bacteria. It causes inflammation and formation of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and other forms of acne. Everyone has P. acnes, and it’s OK to have them. They become dangerous only when pores are blocked and excess of sebum triggers hyperactivity of bacteria.
Overly Active Sebaceous Glands
Usually it is a consequence of increase in hormone levels. Also, sebaceous glands can become extremely active because of food allergies, toxins and diet.
Many dermatologists and dietologists believe that diet cannot be a direct cause of acne. Junk food consumption, dairy products, sugar, alcohol can cause hormone levels changing or food allergies.
Genetics determines many characteristics of our body and health. If your parents suffered form acne, there’s a big chance you have acne too. You cannot fix it, but you can adjust your habits and activity to your characteristics. If genetics determine overproduction of oil, you should control other factors that can cause even more oil and sebum in pores.
Cosmetically Related Acne
Sometimes people use cosmetics that don’t fit their type of skin or skin conditions. Applying wrong or low quality cosmetics can cause oil overproduction, especially if you over-dry your skin, or pore blockage. Both consequence lead to acne.
Food allergies can cause hormone balance changing that leads to excess of oil in skin pores. All you need to trigger acne is clogged pores.
Another skin problem
If you have another skin problems, it may be a factor that can help acne to occupy your body. Most of skin problems can be solved by applying home remedies or by dermatologist.
Stress, Lack of Sleep
Stress, depression, anxiety do not cause acne themselves. So why many authority sources of information about skin deceases insist that stress is one of the factors that can lead to problems? What causes acne? Stress, lack of sleep, depression can cause changes in hormone levels. You know that it means.
In this article, we discovered what is acne and how it looks like, how it develops and what forms of acne exist. And the most important part – we discovered what causes acne and why some factors are more important than others