Acne and its Causes
Acne Vulgaris, or Common Acne as it is referred to, often appears during the teenage years. Many people mistakenly believe that acne is the direct result of poor hygiene, eating spicy or greasy foods, or stress. However, as to date, there is no scientific evidence to support these theories. It is shown however that acne is directly caused by hormonal changes, specifically the hormone testosterone. Acne forms when the sebaceous glands begin to produce an excess of sebum. This is a common occurrence when there are changes in the levels of the hormone, testosterone. As the sebaceous glands produce more sebum, hair follicles that reside in the skin 's glands become infected. The build up of sebum clogs the skin’s pores and also attracts bacterium that normally resides in the skin, called propionibacterium acnes.
When the pores become blocked with sebum, proprionibacterium acnes
will overgrow. White blood cells then flock to the area of infection
and the site begins to swell. This creates the skin condition known
Though stress itself is not a conclusive cause of acne, stress
does trigger the release of hormones that can increase the build
up of sebum. Because acne is a result of hormone activity, it is
not a condition only reserved for those in puberty and the teen-age
years. Many women will also suffer from acne during their menstrual
cycles as well as in pregnancy and during menopause.
Just as hormones can have a negative impact on the skin and be
the root cause of acne, amazingly some women find that during pregnancy
and menopause, their acne conditions clear up. The same holds true
for birth control pills. Some women find that taking birth control
pill causes them to break out with acne, where as others find that
the pill regulates their hormone levels, thereby clearing their
Some other causes of acne are cosmetics or make up, medications
(specifically those used to treat depression and epilepsy), a family
history or genetic disposition to acquiring acne, and treating the
skin harshly or roughly.
Because there is a common misconception that acne is attributed
to poor hygiene, many sufferers unwittingly exasperate the problem
by frequently washing their face or by scrubbing their skin harshly.
In fact, it is recommended that acne sufferers wash their face no
more than twice a day, with a gently cleanser, and without applying
any pressure to the skin.
If you have acne, then you may have already experienced the discomfort
(physical and emotional) that this condition causes. The most important
thing to realize is that acne can be treated effectively. There
are numerous topical ointments, antibiotics, and other medications
that have all been shown to significantly improve and clear up acne.
The first step that you will need to take is to set an appointment
with a dermatologist. A dermatologist will have the resources available
to offer you the best course of action for your particular skin
type. Not all remedies have the same effect on all people, therefore
it is important to find the treatment that works best for you. By
working with your doctor or dermatologist, you can rest assured
that you will find the best treatment for treating acne.