Causes of Acne


Consider the following evidence:

An Australian study conducted in November 2006 found that, over a period of 12 weeks, there was a 50% reduction in mild to moderate facial Acne when the subjects were placed on a diet that consisted of high levels of protein and a low GI (Glycemic Index).

In a recent study, it was shown that, in a diet sufficiently high in sugars, this would activate the liver to convert these sugars into lipid (a fatty substance found in the blood). A side-effect of this reaction is that it stops the production of Sex hormone binding globulin (which is a glycoprotein that binds to sex hormones, specifically testosterone and estradiol). The binding process of this chemical can help to reduce the level of testosterone in the blood. Since it is known that high levels of testosterone are able to trigger Acne, then the inference drawn from this study is that a diet containing high levels of sugar can be a cause of Acne.

Research has shown that recently diagnosed Acne patients display lower levels of vitamin A in their bloodstream than those who do not have Acne. Furthermore, patients exhibiting severe Acne tend to have lower blood levels of vitamin E.


Blackheads and Whiteheads

A blackhead (also known as an open comedo) is a yellow or black lump or plug on the surface of the skin. It is, in fact, a form of Acne vulgaris. In contrast to the popular belief that it is caused by inadequate hygiene, blackheads are produced when excess oils collect in the duct of the sebaceous gland (which are microscopic glands in the skin which expel an oily/waxy substance, called sebum, to lubricate all skin sites, except the palms and soles, but most especially the face and scalp). The material occurring in these lumps consists mainly of keratin (a tough, fibrous protein) and modified sebum, which darkens as it oxidises. Clogged hair follicles (which is a constituent of the skin that produces hair by compacting old cells together, and is attached to a sebaceous gland), where blackheads often occur, reflect light in a non-uniform manner to produce a blackhead's "black" colouration. This is why the blockage may not necessarily look black when removed from the pore, but may have a more yellow-brown colour due to its melanin (which serves as a pigment) content.
On the other hand, a "whitehead" (also known as a pimple or a closed comedo) is a follicle that contains sebum, but has a microscopic opening to the skin surface. Because air is unable to reach the follicle, the sebum is not oxidised, and therefore remains white.

There is no correlation between the presence of dirt and the incidence of Acne. This historical anomaly was probably instigated by the fact that blackheads look like dirt lodged in the openings of pores in the skin. The black colour is, indeed, not dirt but solely due to oxidised keratin. Such blockages caused by keratin that give rise to Acne take place deep inside the narrow follicle channel, as a result of which they cannot be washed way.

Acne – How To Succeed

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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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