Acne: Causes and Risk Factors

What is acne?

In people who have acne, dead skin cells mix with sebum (oil) produced by the skin and clog the hair follicles of the skin. The bacteria growing in clogged hair follicles cause more skin irritation. Usually, acne begins in early adolescence, when the sebaceous glands of the body begin to produce more sebum.

What is the cause of acne?

When the hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and skin cells, an "white point". If the follicle is obstructed near the skin surface and the air touches the obstruction, this takes a black color and is called a "blackhead". A blackhead is not caused by dirt.

If the wall of a plugged follicle breaks, the area swells and becomes a red bump. If the wall of the hair follicle ruptures near the skin surface, the protrusion becomes, usually in a grain. If the wall is broken in a place deep in the skin, it is possible to form acne nodules or cysts. This is called "cystic acne".

Who gets acne?

Boys and girls have acne. However, it may be worse in boys because they have more skin oils. For many people, the symptoms of acne are weakened upon reaching age 25, but can continue for much of adulthood.

Family history is also important. If your mother and father had a severe acne, you may also have.

Your immune system is also a factor. Some people are very sensitive to the bacteria that become trapped in hair follicles.

Factors that often make acne worse:

  • Oil-based makeup, suntan lotion and hair products.
  • Stress.
  • Hormonal changes, especially during menstruation.
  • Squeeze or pick your brands.
  • Rub the skin with force.

Things that do not cause acne:

  • Dirt.
  • Chocolate chips.
  • Sexual activity.
  • Masturbation.

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