What Causes Acne?
Causes Acne results from the inflammation of sebaceous glands connected to your hair and skin follicles.
Commonly, this happens when there is a spike in hormones, usually during the teenage years. These hormones, together with sebum, an oily substance secreted as a protectant to the skin and hair of mammals are major contributors to acne. Together they create an inflammatory process that causes red, tender papules in the skin.
Who Wants To Know; What Causes Acne?
Usually young people in their teens are more prone to acne than older people. This is due to the sharp rise in androgenic hormones in that particular age group.
Being forced to think about what causes acne can happen at different stages in life, not only during puberty. Pregnancy is another situation when hormones change, predisposing the mother to the formation of acne. At certain times during their menses or at mid-cycle, women may experience the eruption of temporary acne. The skin returns to normal after hormonal influences wane.
How Many Kinds Of Acne Are There?
Basically, there are only two kinds: Superficial acne and deep acne. As stands to reason, superficial acne is much more common and easier to control. Superficial acne includes the familiar blackheads (comedones) and whiteheads (closed comedones).
These are the same thing except that the blackheads are in pores that are open to the air while whiteheads are protected from oxygen in closed pockets. Interaction between air and the gram positive propionibacterium causes the sebaceous material to blacken, thus the term blackhead.
What Can You Do To Prevent Acne?
Propionibacter is an anaerobe, which means it will die if exposed to oxygen. By washing the skin frequently, which removes invisibly thin layers of keratin that can close the pores, acne gets less of a chance to establish itself. Keeping the skin as clean as possible is a necessity during teenage years when physical activity and perspiration are highest. You may not be able to prevent all cases of acne this way, but you will certainly reduce the number of eruptions. Superficial acne is almost impossible to prevent.
What Can You Do To Treat Acne?
Despite washing your face several times a day, using a warm washcloth to keep pores open and blood flowing under the skin you are still getting acne. You may even experience subcutaneous cysts filled with pus, commonly known as abscesses.
In an extreme case of acne, pus can form channels that run deep into skin and fascia causing pain and scarring. Teenagers are going through an emotionally difficult time as it is. Being embarrassed because of their acne is something that can be relieved by medication or cosmecuetical acne treatments.
There are a number of antibiotics that can be used to heal and even avoid future eruptions. All of these oral preparations have some side effects. Some acne medications are available only by prescription and medical monitoring is necessary.
Minocycline is highly efficacious and has no GI side effects; however, it can produce dizziness and discoloration of the skin. Isotretanoin, taken orally, is very effective and probably the most commonly used drug today for acne. It has teratogenic side effects and pregnancy must not occur while the patient is taking that drug.