What are the causes of acne ?

By | October 16, 2013
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What are the causes of Acne breakouts in adults – on the forehead, on the chest, on the back, on the chin, on the jawline and around the mouth


The causes of acne are closely linked to the hormonal changes that take place when young people mature from childhood to adolescence (puberty). There are only a few cases of Acne breakouts in adults.

Yet, it can get to be very distressing.

The hormones that cause physical maturation also cause the sebaceous (oil glands of the skin) to produce more sebum (oil).

The hormones with the greatest effect on sebaceous glands are androgens (male hormones), which are present in females as well as in males, but in higher amount in males.

Sebaceous glands are found together with the hair shaft in a unit called a sebaceous follicle.

During puberty, the cells of the skin that line the follicle begin to shed more rapidly.

causes of acne

In people who develop acne, cells shed and stick together more than in people who do not develop acne.

The unity of these minute cells can cause much distress.

When these cells mix with the increased amount of sebum being produced, they can plug the opening of the follicle.

Meanwhile, the sebaceous glands continue to produce sebum, with which the follicle swells up, resulting in whiteheads.

When the whiteheads are exposed to the air, they form blackheads. The black color of a blackhead comes from a normal skin pigment that darkens when exposed to air.

A whitehead develops if a pore is so clogged that no air can enter.

In addition to all this, a normal skin bacterium called P. acne, begins to multiply rapidly in the clogged hair follicle. In the process, these bacteria produce irritating substances that can cause inflammation.

Sometimes, the wall of the follicles burst, spreading inflammation to surrounding skin, causing:

Papules and

Pustules and


Nodular acne is large and painful, and hence can result in permanent scarring.

If not taken proper care of, blackheads turn into pimples, and pimples into nodules and nodules into lesions.

Acne affects most teenagers and a few adults, too

Nearly 99 percent of people between the ages of twelve and seventeen have at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or a pimple, regardless of race or ethnicity.

causes of acne

Many of these young people are able to manage their acne with over the counter treatments. For some, however, acne is more serious.

In fact, by their mid-teens more than 40 percent of adolescents have acne, severe enough to require treatment by a physician.

Acne starts between the ages of ten and thirteen and usually lasts for five to ten years. It normally goes away on its own, sometimes in the early twenties.

However, acne can persist into the late twenties or thirties or even beyond. Some people get acne for the first time as adults.

Acne affects young men and women equally, but there are a few differences:

Young men are more likely than young women to have severe, long-lasting forms of acne.

Despite this fact, young men are less likely to visit a dermatologist for their acne.

In contrast, young women are more likely to have intermittent acne due to hormonal changes associated with their menstrual cycle, and due to cosmetics. These kinds of acne may affect young women well into adulthood.

Acne lesions are most common on the face, but they can also occur on the neck, chest, back, shoulders, scalp, upper arms and legs.

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