always seems to appear during the
most inconvenient situations--right
before a wedding, a high school
prom, or an important business meeting!
Acne is not a life-threatening condition
but it can result in scarring that
is permanent in severe cases.
is an inflammatory skin condition
that causes lesions that are commonly
known as pimples or zits to form
on the skin. Although acne is
one of the perils associated with
"growing up," adolescents
are not the only individuals who
are afflicted by this condition.
Acne outbreaks generally begin
to occur around the puberty stage,
affecting more than 85% of teenagers,
and they often continue to occur
during adulthood. In some cases,
acne outbreaks do not begin until
as late as adulthood. The positive
aspect of acne is that, for the
majority of acne sufferers, the
condition diminishes over time
and may even eventually disappear
completely. However, it is impossible
to determine if or when acne will
permanently disappear. Acne may
also resurface when it is least
expected-- even when an individual
is in his or her thirties or forties!
good news is, for majority of acne
sufferers the condition diminishes
over time and eventually may even
Causes and Risk Factors
actual causes of acne are still
unclear-no one knows exactly why
the skin develops this itchy, red,
irritating rash! However, it is
commonly believed that acne is a
disorder of the pilosebaceous units
that consist of sebaceous (oil-producing)
glands that connect hair follicles.
sebaceous glands secrete an oily substance
known as sebum that is drained on the
surface of the skin. Many dermatologists
believe that the onset of acne is incited
by the production of a hormone called
androgen, which is a male sexual hormone
that is present in both males and females.
Androgen stimulates the sebaceous glands,
which causes them to enlarge and produce
more sebum. Over-stimulated sebaceous
glands secrete excess sebum which eventually
accumulates in the follicles (pores).
The Propionibacterium Acnes bacteria
that thrive on the skin surface multiply
when the follicle is blocked by excess
sebum and the dead skin cells on the
skin further aggravate the condition.
As the sebum production increases, there
is a greater risk of the formation of
clogged follicles that result in acne
lesions including comedones (whiteheads
and blackheads), papules, pustules,
macules, nodules and cysts.
imbalance occurs during puberty, pregnancy,
menstruation, menopause, and as a result
of emotional stress and additional psychological
reasons. The imbalance also stimulates
the pilosebaceous units which ultimately
incites the formation of acne. Acne
is often assumed to be a hormone-related
disorder because of these factors.
also appears to be hereditary, which
associates acne with an individual's
genetics. Therefore, if anyone in your
family has acne there is a chance that
you may eventually develop acne.
drugs like corticosteroids, anti-epileptic
medicines such as phenytoin, and birth
control pills containing levonorgestrel
or norethisterone, may aggravate acne.
Anabolic steroids used by fitness enthusiasts
and body builders may also cause acne
as a side-effect.