Acne Causes

There are many myths surrounding what causes acne. By educating yourself on how acne is formed you will be able to dispel most myths and learn how to effectively treat acne. First we should begin with a definition of acne. If you don’t know what acne is, you can’t hope to fight it.

Acne is found not only on the face, but also the neck, shoulders, back and chest. While it is not a life threatening disorder it can lead to embarrassing scarring. Acne is also the most common disorder in the United States today, affecting over 17 million people.

Acne is a disorder in which sebum (an oil produced in the sebaceous gland) is prevented from passing through the pore to the surface of the skin causing a clogged pore. This also prevents skin follicles from shedding properly causing eruptions in the skin called pimples.

Breakouts develop when this mixture of oil, skin cells and bacteria causing inflammation irritates the skin. When a pimple erupts, this mixture is spilled out onto the surrounding skin, which can cause it to become irritated and inflamed.

There are four main types of acne lesions, they are: papules, which are small pink bumps. Pustules, which are pus filled lesions that may be red at the base of the skin. The third type of lesion is a nodule, which is a large solid lesion deep within the skin. And finally, a cyst is a deep pus-filled lesion that causes scarring.

One of the biggest acne causing factors are hormones. Sex hormone levels rise when both boys and girls reach puberty. This causes your oil glands to enlarge and produce more sebum making it more likely that the pore will become blocked. Hormone levels also rise just before a female begins her monthly menstrual cycle. This is why girls are prone to breakouts 2-7 days before their period begins. Other hormonal changes in women also cause acne. This includes pregnancy and either starting or stopping birth control pills.

Another big factor that causes acne is genetics. It is now known that acne may be a genetic disorder, so if your parents suffered from severe acne at one point in their lives, most likely, you will as well.

One factor that causes acne to worsen is stress. For some reason, moderate to severe emotional tension aggravates acne. Other factors include environmental irritants like pollution and humidity, cosmetics that cause skin follicles to stick together and certain drugs like lithium.

If you already have acne and do not wish to make it worse you should refrain from picking and squeezing your pimples. Also relentlessly scrubbing your face will only irritate your skin causing acne breakouts to worsen. Acne is also worsened by friction. This friction may come from a bike helmet, backpack, or a tight collar.

Here are a couple myths surrounding the cause of acne. Acne is caused by chocolate or greasy, fatty foods. This is incorrect. While eating a healthy diet and drinking lots of water you may be able to improve your skin’s appearance, eating a chocolate bar is not going to cause a zit to pop up the next day. Another myth is that having a dirty face causes acne. This is also incorrect because bacteria, sebum and blocked skin follicles, not dirt, cause acne.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Acne []

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