Acne is the name for a pilosebaceous unit disorder; a pilosebaceous unit is made up of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and a hair. These units are found on most parts of the body, although they are greatest in number on the face, upper neck, and chest. Sebaceous glands produce a substance known as sebum, an ingredient responsible for moisturizing the skin and hair. Sebaceous glands enlarge during teenage years and produce more sebum due to hormonal changes. After adolescence, sebum production generally decreases, which explains why acne is more common in teenagers and early adulthood.
Acne development can be the result of any one of several factors. One of the main causes is the flaking of cells inside hair follicles, which leads to a plug forming. This plug often leads to the enlargement and rupture of the hair follicle. When the hair follicle ruptures, the oils and other ingredients are spilled into the skin, causing inflammation and skin aggravation.
Another active cause of acne is bacteria that dwell on the skin. These bacteria feed on sebum and create substances that irritate the skin, giving it the inflamed, red look that is associated with acne.
Hormones also play a role in causing acne. One such hormone is androgen, a male hormone present in both men and women, but with higher levels in men. Androgens both increase the size of sebaceous glands and cause these glands to produce higher levels of sebum. Levels of androgen start rising at puberty, resulting in the many changes adolescents face at that time. Another hormone that has a part in acne development is estrogen, which is a female hormone. Estrogen levels play a key part in a woman’s menstruation, and can have a direct effect on skin outbreaks. Many doctors have been known to recommend birth control pills as a form of combating acne and skin problems.
Another cause of acne is genetic; acne often runs in the family with several members facing similar conditions, although not everyone who is related to someone with acne will face it themselves.
Different types of acne occur for different reasons, and it is important to have the causes identified in each personal case. Similar looking conditions are not all caused by similar problems, by seeking professional help, you will be able to identify the causes of your acne and help shorten the road to recovery and cure.
Prevention is always better and easier, and most likely, cheaper then treatment. By understanding the causes of acne you can do your best on preventing acne to occur so you yo don’t have to deal with the long fight of acne treatment.