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 as acne.

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 Acne conditions.

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.


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