Know the Cause of Acne

What is acne?

Medically called "acne vulgaris", acne is a type of skin disease cause by changes in its deeper layers. Severe cases of acne is inflammatory, but it can also manifest in noninflammatory forms. Lesions caused by acne are commonly referred to as pimples or zits.

Acne is most common during adolescence and frequently continues into adulthood. In most cases, acne diminishes over time and tends to disappear-or at least decrease-after one reaches his or her early twenties. However, there are some individuals who would continue to suffer from acne decades after adolescence.

Symptoms of acne

Acne lesions usually appear on the face and upper neck, but it can appear on the chest, back, and shoulders as well.

Causes of acne

Contrary to various popular myths, acne develops as a result of blockages in skin follicles. It begins as a formation of a "plug" of keratin and sebum beneath the skin. The oil glands then begin to enlarge as sebum production is increased.

The plug eventually forms into a blackhead or a whitehead. Once acne becomes inflamed, it results to redness (which we call a pimple). If not taken care of, it may result to scarring or hyper pigmentation.

Why do people get acne?

It is still unknown why some people get acne and others do not, although it is said that it is partly hereditary. Several factors are known to be linked to acne, including family history, hormonal activity, stress, hyperactive oil glands, accumulation of dead skin cells, bacteria in the pores, skin irritation, use of anabolic steroids, halogen-containing medications, and exposure to certain drugs.

It is also said the certain diet choices contribute to the development to acne, such as consumption of partially skimmed milk (because of hormones present in cow milk), seafood (high iodine content), as well as foods with high levels of carbohydrates or have low levels of vitamin A and E.

Treatment of acne

There are many products available to treat acne, whether on a temporary basis (just to remove the redness) or a more long-term effect (preventing acne to form). These treatments vary from topical bactericidal, topical antibiotics, oral antibiotics, oral retinoids, hormonal therapies, and even phototherapy.