Acne is the most widespread skin disease which could captivate one’s mind in psychological isolation. To facilitate the correct treatment for acne it is extremely important for us to understand the root causes of acne.
Acne is developed by a host of interrelated factors, which also vary from person to person. It appears at the clogged pores on our skin surface. Our skin consists of sebaseous glands (oil glands) and hair follicles. Sebaseous glands are connected to hair follicles by pilosebaceous canals through which oil or sebum oozes out. Acne is caused by the impediment of these canals. This situation is brought to pass by several reasons. The most frequent causes of acne are:
Excessive Secretion of Sebum in the Skin
Owing to intricate human physiological changes and several other causes sometimes oil glands become over active and secrete excess oil, which accumulates under the skin inside hair follicles. This leads to clogging of pilosebaceous units. If this condition persists for a few days, occluded pores swell up and these show up as acne.
Acne is mainly a result of the combined effect of androgenic hormones (male hormones). These hormones are present in both male and female body. When we enter adolescence stage androgens become active and affect in two ways:
- They stimulate the sebaceous glands to swell up.
- Androgens instigate sebaceous glands to excessively exude sebum.
The augmented sebum leads to block the pores in the skin which is one of the primary causes of acne formation. During puberty the androgen secretion rises and contributes to high growth of acne among teenagers.
On the other hand in case of women, female hormones (estrogens) are associated with acne. During monthly menstrual cycle estrogen level rise and fall in female body. As the estrogen level drops, women face a lot of acne problems. Again when the hormone level increases, it helps to heal acne.
Role of Bacteria
Bacteria play a significant role in acne development. The anaerobic bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, which rise and proliferate in the retained oil of our skin, are mostly responsible for skin blemishes. These bacteria prefer to accumulate on oily skin and produce some chemical substances which trigger redness and inflammation of the skin. P. acnes secrete some enzymes which dissolve in our natural body oil and create some irritating chemical substances, which combine to worsen the inflammation resulting in zits or pimples.
Unhygienic Diet and Improper Food Habits
Unhealthy food intake plays a key role behind the causes of acne. Lack of important nutrients from our daily food items may induce our digestive system to secrete some hormones which in turn bring about the formation of acne. It is found that probiotics in our digestive system help our skin to stay healthy and clean by eliminating toxins from our food items during digestion. These toxic chemicals are excreted through the skin in the form of pimples.
Wrong food habits and erratic lifestyle are also believed as the major causes of acne. Eating in odd hours, food items with excess amount of sugar and starch content, and oily foods lead to indigestion and chronic constipation. In this situation, our body cannot expel the waste matter properly and toxic level goes up in blood stream. Body immune mechanism automates the expulsion of toxins through skin, which sequentially gives rise to acne. It is also found that excessive intake of alcohol, tobacco, tea, and coffee cause indigestion and general impediment, which causes acne.
Here, one point should be made unambiguous that food items are certainly not responsible for any type of acne. But, during the process of decomposition of some of the foodstuffs, certain toxic chemicals surface as a byproduct and intensify the break out of acne.
Cosmetics and Makeup
Oil-based cosmetics are extremely harmful for acne prone people. Heavy or oily makeup puts in excess oil, which enhances the level of oil already present in the skin. Oily skin triggers the reproduction of P. acnes bacteria and also helps dead cells and dirt particles to line up at the pilosebaceous channel, clogging the pores and thereby causing acne.
According to many researchers acne runs in families. It is found that people having heredity of this skin disease are mostly susceptible to acne.
Some studies have established that high stress level may trigger and worsen acne condition especially in adults.
Weather and Clothing
Hot and humid weather and skintight clothes often restrict the skin to breath and increases the perspiration level. Excess sweat mixes with sebum creating a filmy layer, which blocks the pores and causes blemishes.
If we are really conscious about the causes of acne it would be far easier for us to take the preventive measures against this painful skin disorder.