If you are suffering from acne and looking into acne treatment then the first thing you will want to do is understand the cause of acne. While it is not known why some people suffer from acne and others don’t, what causes acne, there are many known factors which can affect your skin and acne. These factors include hormones, genetics, vitamin deficiencies, stress and diet.
What Causes Acne?
It is well understood that acne is caused when something goes wrong with the pilosebaceous unit. The unit is built of a hair follicle and hair as well as the sebaceous gland. Nearly your entire body is covered with pilosebaceous units with the exception of the soles and top of your feet, your palms and your lower lip. When people refer to a skin pore they usual mean the pilosebaceous unit.
An oil known as sebum is produced by the sebaceous gland, it helps keep skin and hair moist at all times. A chance in hormone levels (such as during puberty) will cause the sebaceous gland to grow and produce more sebum oil. Excessive production of sebum oil is the primary cause of acne and this is why most people suffer from acne during their adolescent years, however, adult acne in males and adult acne in females are a fairly common occurrence.
The Cause of Acne
Every person’s skin contains bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes. It feeds on sebum oil and often thrives during adolescence when an excessive amount of sebum oil is produced. This bacterium attracts white blood cells to the hair follicle which then produces an enzyme which damages the follicle wall and can cause pores to collapse in on themselves. This means that the contents of the follicle will leak into the dermis (a layer of skin). When this happens there is an inflammatory reaction resulting in papules, pustules (pimples) and nodules. The bacteria will often cause the creation of fatty acids which also irritate your skin and will make inflammation more severe.
Problems can also occur when sebum oil is trapped in the hair follicle and is unable to reach the skin. It is not known why one hair follicle may be come blocked and not another, but when they are blocked the sebum oil is unable to leave. This process is called comedogenesis and results in acne called comedones which are more commonly known as whiteheads and blackheads.
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Acne Treatments to Fight the Cause of Acne
The field of dermatology is advancing all the time and more and more is being learnt about the causes of acne breakouts. However, as mentioned it is still not known what causes acne in some and not others. Therefore it is important to focus on the best acne treatments and any factors which cause your skin to erupt in pimples.