At puberty, male hormones stimulate growth of skin cells and increased production of sebum by sebaceous glands. The gland duct may become blocked by skin cells to form a whitehead, or by a plug of sebum that darkens on exposure to air, forming a blackhead, when sebum continues to be produced in a gland with a blocked duct, it may be forced out into surrounding tissue. Bacteria that are normally present in the skin (and harmless in other circumstances) cause the sebum to break down into chemicals that cause inflammation, resulting in the tender red lump we call a pimple. The pus formed by the inflammation usually pushes towards the surface from a 'head' that breaks through the blockage of the duct, and the pimple drains and disappears, leaving no scar.
Acne is also genetically influenced. If the parents have acne, then there kids are also more prone of developing acne. Use of generally cosmetics may also lead to occurrence of Acne. Various drugs like lithium, may also cause acne. Due to rubbing the skin, friction is caused which may cause acne. Various environmental factors such as pollution and high level of humidity also leads to formation of acne.
Acne is not caused by chocolate and greasy foods or stress. If the duct is very tightly plugged, the inflammation may spread to the deeper layers of the skin, forming a 'blind' pimple. In some cases cysts form deep in the skin and raise purplish lumps that can take months or years to heal.
Cystic acne is the most severe form, and almost always results in some pitting and scarring. Why do some people get worse acne than others? Some people's sebaceous glands are extra sensitive to male hormones. This sensitivity seems to be inherited, explaining why acne tends to run in families.
Acne in teenagers is rarely caused by an excessof male hormones, the skin is just over-reacting to the normal amount. All forms of acne have their origin in wrong food habits, such as irregular hours of eating, improper food, excess of starch, sugar and fatty foods. Chronic constipation is another major cause of acne. If the bowels do not move properly, the waste matter is not eliminated as quickly as it should be and the blood stream becomes saturated with toxic matter. The extra efforts of the skin to eliminate this excess waste result in acne and other forms of skin disease. Yet another important cause of acne is a devitalised condition of the skin resulting from unhygenic living habits.
Other contributing factors to the disorder are excessive use of tea, coffee, alcohol and tobacco, strenuous studies and sedentary habits which lead to indigestion and general debility. Several factors are known to be linked to acne: ? Hormonal activity ? Hyperactive sebaceous glands ? Accumulation of dead skin cells ? Bacteria in the pores ? Skin irritation or scratching of any sort ? Anabolic steroids ? Birth control pills, however many women have reported reduced acne while on the pill ? Those exposed to high levels of chlorine compounds, particularly chlorinated dioxins, often develop severe, long-lasting acne, known as Chloracne.
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