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Information on Acne

Acne is one of the most common medical conditions known toman, as it affects persons of all age groups everywhere around the world. Thesebaceous glands located in the skin secrete the oil called sebum, whose mainpurpose is to moisturize the skin. Sebum gets secreted through tiny canalscalled follicles. When the follicles get clogged by sebum, dead skin cells orcertain types of bacteria, they trigger the occurrence of acne. The harmful bacteriawhich get clogged in the follicles are known for causing certain types ofenzymes and chemicals, which leads to the occurrence of inflammatoryconditions. Each inflammatory condition is always accompanied by painfulsensations, heat, redness and swelling. The pimples get formed when the wallsof the clogged follicles break down and let bacteria, dead skin cells and sebumenter the surrounding areas of the skin. The basic lesion of acne is known asthe comedo, which is actually a clogged hair follicle. If it remains under theskin as a closed comedo it produces a white bump which is commonly referred toas whitehead. An open comedo reaches the surface on the skin and it is commonlyreferred to as blackhead.

Primary causes

The root causes of acne are still largely unknown, althoughthere are certain factors which may be linked with the occurrence of acne.Genetic history plays a huge part in the development of acne. A child willsuffer from acne much more if his or her parents suffered from acne as well. Hormonalactivities are closely related to the development of acne. Puberty andmenstrual cycles are the ones which occur most frequently. Male hormones,called androgens are increased and they lead to the enlargement of folliclesand an enhanced production of sebum. Scratching, skin irritation andinflammatory conditions are also very closely related to the occurrence ofacne. There are certain scientific studies which have shown that stress mayalso be one of the contributing factors in the development of acne. Stresslevels may also affect the severity of acne. Hyperactive sebaceous glands, bacteriain the follicles and accumulation of dead skin cells are among the primarycauses of acne as well. Amphetamines, Halogens, dioxins, androgens,barbiturates, lithium and anabolic steroids can all be associated with theoccurrence of acne. Acne tends to occur less in adults, but in women it may beassociated with certain medical conditions such as menopause, Cushing’ssyndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome and even pregnancy.

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