Acne is a debilitating skin disease that greatly compromises one’s confidence and social interaction. Acne affects teenagers and youg adults predominantly. However, adult onset acne has become more common in recent times. Acne’s precursor lesion is called comedone and it is essentially an enlarged plugged follicle filled with dead cells, sebum and hair. Comedones eventually get infected by bacteria that resides on the skin becoming pustules.
Acne can be triggered by a variety of elements. Researchers believe that heredity plays a big role in determining one’s predisposition to acne.
Androgens are hormones that stimulate the production of sebum. Exces sebum results in the skin being greasy and congested, the perfect millieu for comedones to flourish.
A sinister bacteria that resides on the skin causes skin fats to break down into irritating chemicals that corrode the skin resulting in pus pointing outbreaks.
Occlusion of pores at the skin’s surface by dead cells, make up, thick foundation, mechanical pressure or ductal cell overgrowth.
Certain drugs, such as those used to treat epilepsy or tuberculosis; exposure to industrial oils, grease and chemicals; and stress and strong emotions (which may account for the big date breakout).
Oily cosmetics and shampoos can trigger acne in people who are prone to it.
Many young women may get outbreaks around the time of their menstrual periods due to hormonal changes.
Certain foods like chocolate, nuts, cola drinks, potato chips, french fries and other “junk food” of high glycemic index may provoke acne. Scientists however beg to differ.
There is an association between the severity of acne and the amount of oil a person’s skin produces, not all people with oily skin have acne. Moreover, some people with dry skin do get acne too!