Understanding Acne

Undoubtedly all the skin disorders are quite an awful experience but most common out of them which shift a healthy, smooth and glowing skin to a non glamorous mode is “ACNE”. Adult’s acne is known as “ACNE VULGARIS”.  In ayurveda it is called as “Youvan pidika” means eruption of adult hood.


What is Acne


Acne refers to multi-factorial inflammatory disease of the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands) and hair follicles that causes pimples or zits, usually characterized by comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), papules (pinheads), pustules (pimples), and cysts.



Who suffers with acne


Though acne is a problem of all age groups but it is most commonly found in pre-adults and adults. Boys have more severe acne and develop it more often than girls. Around 85% of adult face this disease. It is most common skin disorder in Americans. Sufferers can experience significant psychological morbidity and, rarely, mortality due to suicide. It affects all races and ethnicities with equal significance.



Why acne occurs


Under the skin surface there are small holes (pores) which connect to oil glands i.e. sebaceous gland. These glands produce an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. A hair also grows out through the follicle and out to the skin. Follicular hyperkeratinization leads to hyperkertotic plug. Due to rise in testosterone level there is enlargement of sebaceous gland which further leads to overproduction of sebum. When the follicle of a skin gland blocks with excess of sebum, pimples comes out.




Causes of Acne


Certainly there can be many factors that trigger acne vulgaris such as Hormonal changes, genetics, some drugs, lifestyle disorders and others factors but out of these hormonal issues are among the topmost etiology. Let’s have a look on all of these factors in brief.


1.   Hormonal Factors and Acne:  At puberty, hormonal changes like an increase in androgen can stimulate the overproduction of sebum and ultimately clogs up follicle to form pimple. Similarly hormonal changes during menstruation period and pregnancy also results in formation of Acne.


2.   Genetics Factors and Acne:  Acne tends to run in families. For example, if school going children or pre-adulthood suffering from acne quite often one or more of their family members suffered from same ailment.


3.   Drugs Causing Acne: Excess use of steroids, testosterone, estrogen, and phenytoin can lead to acne.


4.   Lifestyle Disorders and Acne:  Chronic constipation is one of the major causes of acne. Improper evacuation of excreta (waste matter) leads to toxin accumulation in blood, finally pimple is the outcome.


5.   Miscellaneous Factors and Acne:  Applying greasy or oily cosmetics and hair products which are unsuitable to your body tone and texture. Highly humid environment. Bad eating habits such as excess starchy food and sugar and eating at irregular hours or eating between the meals can lead to acne.


Types of Acne


1.   Closed Comedones(Whitehead) - a clogged follicle. Whiteheads usually appear on the skin as small, round, white bumps.



2.   Open Comedones (Blackhead) -- a plugged follicle that opens and turns dark at the surface of the skin.








3.   Papules -- inflamed lesions that appear as small, pink bumps on the skin








4.   Pustules (Pimples) -- inflamed pus filled lesions that are red at the base








5.   Cysts and Nodules -- large, inflamed, pus filled lesions deep under the skin that can cause pain and scarring.








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