The human body is covered in hair which grows through minute “holes” in the skin, called pores. The sebaceous glands produce oils which lubricate the skin. However, when these glands become overactive, which is quite common in adolescence, they can cause blockages in the pores due to a combination of the oily sebum from these glands, dead skin cells and keratin, the major constituent of hair.

When these blockages enlarge and become open, this can lead to the formation of a Blackhead. However, should these enlargements remain closed, then a Whitehead may be formed. If these blockages are left unattended, inflammation can set in resulting in the unsightly scars often associated with Acne.

Contrary to popular view, Acne is not caused by dirt. The black colour associated with Blackheads is not dirt, but oxidised keratin. The blockages of keratin that cause Acne occur deep within the narrow follicle channel where it is impossible to wash away. When the cells lining the ducts do not flow to the surface in the sebum created by the body, then plugs are formed.

The build up of oil on the skin can block the passages of these pores, and so regular washing of the face can clear away the old oil and help unblock the pores.

Main Causes

Research has identified a number of factors associated with the onset of Acne. These can be summarised as follows:

Hormones - During puberty, for example, the production of male sex hormones may increase with the result that the sebaceous glands will generate more sebum.

Bacteria – Certain forms of Acne can be caused by a particular bacterium which can be resident in the pores of the skin.

Hereditary – There is a strong evidence to suggest a link between Acne and the various members of the same family. In this way, later generations can inherit more vigorous strains of the spots and sores.

Stress – There is an increase in the production of the hormones from the adrenal glands during stressful interludes. Such a connection to Acne is now thought doubtful.

Scratching – Any form of skin irritation, such as the simple act of scratching the sores or spots, will augment any existing inflammation.

Certain Medications – There is evidence to suggest that the use of certain medicines containing barbiturates, the halogens, such as chlorides and iodides, and lithium may be linked to Acne.

The occurrence of Acne Vulgaris in older people is not very common. However, adults can be susceptible when it can be associated with other conditions, such as pregnancy. Also, during the menopause, the hormone estradiol may no longer be produced. As a result, this can lead to the incidence of a type of Acne that is specific to this period in a woman’s life.

Acne – How To Succeed

Author's Bio: 

Peter Radford writes Articles with Websites on a wide range of subjects. Acne Articles cover Background, Causes, Scars, Various Treatments in Detail.

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