What Causes Acne?

What Causes Acne? Acne, arguably one of the most annoying aspectsof teenagerdom, and even occurring in people in their twenties and older, has several primarycauses.

All begin with understanding the structure of what is called sebaceous glands.

Sebaceousglands are each connected to follicles, which contain tiny, usually very fine hair.

Thelittle canal passageways between glands and follicles provide a way for oil, called sebum,to get to the skin's surface.

At certain points in life, people may excretemore sebum than usual.

Teenagers are particularly prone to acne because as they hit puberty,hormones like estrogen and testosterone amp the production of sebum.

This may die downfor older teenagers, but others continue to have increased production of sebum.

When sebum is excreted in larger amounts,it can create acne when other related problems exist.

Pores, usually directly attached tosebaceous glands can easily become blocked with dead skin cells.

As sebum flows to theblocked pores or follicles, these swells, resulting in a variety of types of acne, primarilypustules or cysts.

A normal skin bacterium, Propionibacteriumacnes, also plays a role in forming certain types of skin breakouts.

Though this bacteriumis present at all times on the skin, it can accumulate and grow in blocked pores resultingin higher than normal amounts present.

When compounded with sebum, P.

acnes can createchemical compounds that irritate the skin and cause it to swell.

There are essentially four types of acne.

Cysts are usually localized inflammations on the skin, caused by deep blockage of thesebaceous gland, and a presence of more than normal amounts of P.


These are underthe skin, but may ultimately rupture.

Pustules are an accumulation of sebum, dead skin cells,and bacteria, and they may look red or inflamed and feel irritated because of the bacteria/sebumcompounds.

The follicle ruptures, pushing this, the typical “zit,” to the surface.

Blackheads and whiteheads are caused by sebumand skin cell blockage toward the surface of pores, and usually, have little bacterialinvolvement.

Blackheads do not contain dirt.

They merely look black because the dead skincells pushed to the surface have oxidized and changed color.

Whiteheads usually areblocked a little farther into the sebaceous gland, causing small white bumps (skin celland sebum) to be pushed outward and become noticeable.

It can be said then that the major causesof acne are: Presence of sebum producing hormonesProduction of skin oil Dead skin cells being trapped in poresIn some cases, normal bacteria on the skin You will not get pimples or breakouts by eatingchocolate or drinking soda.

However, you can get them from upswings in sebum producinghormones, which may occur during times of stress.

Women well past their teenage yearsmay notice regular breakouts that occur during or right before monthly menstruation.

Further,some people are genetically more prone to the condition than others.

If your parentshad acne, you’re more likely to get it too.

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