Causes of Acne

Learn about the Condition of Acne

Acne is a very common skin disorder that affects many people. It has often been thought to only affect teenagers but people of all ages may suffer from this condition. Although acne is often dismissed by many as a superficial condition that will pass with time for the person who is experiencing the condition it can be very difficult to deal with, especially considering it’s affect on self-confidence, psyche and social interaction. Before we begin looking at the home remedies for acne it helps to have a clear understanding of the condition.

No one really knows exactly what causes acne, it is most probably a combination of different things, however listed below are different contributing factors of acne, generally they include;

  • Excessive oil production by the sebaceous glands in the skin has been found in most suffering from acne.
  • An excess in the production of male sex hormones called androgens. This is thought to be a major cause of acne.
  • Genetics has been found to play a major role for many who have the condition so if either or both of your parents suffered from the condition then there is a chance that you will too.
  • There is a natural protein in the skin called keratin. In people that suffer from acne it has been found that the skin cells that line the follicles have an excess amount of keratin so instead of sloughing off they remain in the follicle attaching to each other and blocking the opening of the follicle or clogging the oil duct leading to acne. There is thought to be a genetic reason for this hyperkeratinisation.
  • Several bacterial organisms have also been linked to acne. Although acne is not infectious so you can’t ‘catch it’ from someone else it is thought that some of the by products of the bacteria cause inflammation and the formation of pustules.
  • Cosmetics can also contribute to the formation of breakouts; this is because some cosmetics contain ingredients that cause blockages in the follicles, leading to comodones (blackheads) or pustules. These include foundations both liquid and powders, bronzers, blushers etc.
  • Stress and Acne may be linked! Stress is a contributing factor that may cause the release of hormones during the stress response which may contribute to breakouts.
  • Machine oils, coal tar derivatives, lanolin, and other heavy oils may also contribute to clogging of the follicles.

For many people acne doesn’t just appear on the face, it is not uncommon to have acne on the chest, back and shoulders. Where ever the acne appears it should be treated the same as you would treat acne on the skin of the face.

There are several different types of breakouts or lesions that appear on the skin, these include;

  • Comodones- these occur when the follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells, sebum, hairs and bacteria. They are most commonly referred to as blackheads when they are open on the surface. When closed they are called white heads as they are just a small bump on the surface of the skin. They are common and usually occur on the T-zone as well as other areas.

acne lesions

  • Papule- these are usually raised lesions less than 5mm in size they can be felt when you pass over the surface of the skin. They are usually solid.
  • Nodule- these are similar to papules in that they are solid however they are deeper in the layers of the skin and cause inflammation and destruction to surrounding tissue. They are usually painful and can last up to eight weeks.
  • Pustules- usually small, superficial, round lesions that are filled with white blood cells and bacteria. They usually heal well however they can develop into cysts.
  • Cyst- Of all the breakouts mentioned this is probably the most serious, they occur deep in the skin layers. There is usually a lot of inflammation and they are usually sore to touch. These usually result in acne scarring.

acne lesion

For many acne sufferers there is usually a general progression of a lesion; the comedo may become a pustule or nodule, which can then become a cyst. This is why consistent treatment often generates the best results, if you can stop the progression of a lesion from its early stage then scarring and more serious breakouts may become less frequent in occurrence.

There is a classification system often used by dermatologists for acne patients. There are four different grades as follows;

Grade 1: In this grade the patient has mainly open and closed comodones with a few papules.

Grade 2: Patients in this grade have open and closed comodones with lots of papules.

Grade 3: In this grade patients experience open and closed comodones with papules and pustules.

Grade 4: In this grade the patient has open and closed comodones, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts. Most people in this grade will have been or are under a physicians care for management of their condition.

It is important for anyone suffering from acne at any grade to never give up in caring for their skin and treating the condition in some way. Regardless of the different causes of acne when using Home Remedies for Acne remember that different things work differently for different people so try lots of  home remedies as well as other treatments until you find the right one for you. One other valuable tip! It is usually a combination of different home remedies and treatments that work best for acne.

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