What to do about acne?

To understand what you can do about acne you have to know what acne is and what causes it. The medical name for acne is Acne Vulgaris and is known as a skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. The glands are connected to the pores through these follicles (small canals). The oil glands produce an oily liquid called sebum. The sebum is meant to carry dead skin cells to the surface of the skin through the follicles . Sometimes the sebum, dead skin cells and hair can plug the opening of the follicles. When this plug than gets infected with bacteria it will result into a swelling we know as pimples. Pimples tend to appear most on the face, back, chest, shoulders, upper arm and neck. Acne can affect people of all races and all ages but most commonly affects adolescents and young adults. Acne affects both men and women and approximately three-quarters will get acne at some point in their lives. Because of higher quantities of testosterone, young m en tend to suffer from acne longer.  

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Nobody is completely sure what causes acne. Experts believe the primary cause is a rise in androgen levels – androgen is a type of hormone. Androgen levels rise when a human becomes an adolescent. Rising androgen levels make the oil glands under your skin grow; the enlarged gland produces more oil. Excessive sebum can break down cellular walls in your pores, causing bacteria to grow.

Some studies indicate that a susceptibility to acne could also be genetic. Some medications that contain androgen and lithium may cause acne. Greasy cosmetics may cause acne in some susceptible people. Hormone changes during pregnancy may cause acne either to develop for the first time, or to recur.

Contrary to popular belief, acne isn’t caused by a harmful diet, poor hygiene, or an uncontrolled sex drive. The simple truth is that heredity and hormones are behind most forms of acne. Swearing off chocolate or scrubbing your face 10 times a day won’t change your predisposition to this unsightly, sometimes painful, and often embarrassing skin problem