Acne is the inflammation of the oil glands of the skin. These glands are known as sebaceous glands and produce sebum. The glands become enlarged during teenage years with the onset of puberty.
What influences Sebum?:
Sebum is production is under the control of the male sex hormones particularly testosterone in males. The link to female hormones is less understood.
Factors that affect Acne levels are given below:
What are effects of Increased sebum production?
Acne suffers tend to secrete more sebum than those who do not have acne. The more sebum that is excreted the more severe the acne can be. As serum is controlled by the androgenetic hormones, which includes testosterone, any excessive testosterone levels the more sebum is excreted possibly leading to acne. High levels of testosterone alone is however not a contributor to acne itself.
The theory is that the sebum glands of those who suffer with acne are more sensitive to the hormones and secrete more sebum than they should. Producing more sebum is NOT due to eating fatty foods. This excess production of sebum is caused by the genes of the person, in other words, the way someone is made.
Blockage of the duct
The oil gland blocks the ducts of those who suffer with acne. This is named the ductal hypercornification. Such blockage leads to the production of comedones known as blackheads and whiteheads. The more comedones a person has the likelihood their acne is going to be severe.
Blackheads are NOT caused by not cleaning or washing enough or being dirty and the black discolouration is caused by the sebum being oxidised. Scrubbing and scouring the skin will not stop or clear blackheads and can cause problems in itself.
Bacteria and Acne
Acne is NOT infectious. It cannot be passed for person to person. However, bacteria is actively involved with the cause of acne. The bacteria linked with causing acne is called Propionibacterium acnes (P.Acnes) and resides in the sebum in the sebaceous glands and ducts.
The reason for inflammation in acne is not known however it is believed that chemicals made by the p.acnes cause the immune system to cause excessive inflammation.
So why only certain people get acne?
Everyone is made differently, and acne suffers normally have a parent who suffered when they were younger. Hence acne is generally a genetic condition. Whilst we don’t know the precise gene that is linked with acne it is believe to be a combination of genes that originate from a parent.
This Acne information is provide by the Dermatology Association.
At Skin Medical we offer light treatment using NLite which is recognised as the gold standard for the treatment of acne. We also offer peels, microdermabrasion and specialist products.