Acne, Pimples - Causes, Treatment

Topics: Skin, Acne vulgaris, Sebaceous gland Pages: 4 (1325 words) Published: January 28, 2011
Acne, Pimples - Causes, Treatment

What is Acne or Pimples ?

Acne (also known as Pimples) is a skin problem that affects almost all teenagers. The condition results from the action of hormones on the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands). The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that empties onto the skin surface through the hair follicle opening (pore). The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteria that normally live on the skin to grow in the follicle openings. When this happens, pores become clogged and pimples develop. In most cases, pimples occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne does not present a serious health risk, but severe acne can result in permanent scarring. In addition, acne can have significant physical and psychological consequences, such as causing a poor self-image, social inhibition, and anxiety.

Why Do Some People Get Acne and Others Don't ?

It is not clear why some people are more prone to acne than others. The exact cause of acne is not known, but one important factor is an increase in male sex hormones called androgens. Androgens increase in both boys and girls during puberty. Androgens cause the sebaceous glands (oil glands) to get larger and produce more sebum. Androgens also can increase because of hormonal changes related to pregnancy or starting or stopping birth control pills. Another factor in the cause of acne is genetics. Researchers believe that the tendency to develop acne can be inherited from parents. In addition, some drugs (for example, anti-epilepsy medication, prednisone, androgens and lithium) are known to cause acne. Cosmetics that have a greasy consistency may change the cells of the follicles, causing them to stick together and resulting in a plugged pore. Things that can make acne worse include:

• Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin; harsh scrubbing • Picking or squeezing blemishes
• Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars •...
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