Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is Acne?

at 1:17 PM
Acne(acne vulgaris,common acne)is not just a problem for teenagers;it can affect people from ages 10 through 40.It's not unusual for women,in particular to develop acne in their mid to late 20s,even if they have not had breakouts in years.

On the positive side,those few individuals who have acne into their 40s may well grow out of it.Acne can appear on the skin as any of the following:

*Congested pores(comedones),

*Whiteheads,

*Blackheads,

*Zits,

*Pustules,or

*Cysts(deep pimples,boils)
The pus in pustules and cyst is sterile and does not actually contain infectious bacteria.

These blemishes occur wherever there are many "sebaceous glands",mainly on the face,chest and back.

What causes Acne-No one factor causes acne.Acne happens when "sebaceous glands"come to life around puberty,stimulated by male hormones from the adrenal glands of both boys and girls.Sebum oil is a natural substance which lubricates and protects the skin,and under certain circumstances,cells that are close to the surface block the openings of "sebaceous glands" and cause a build up of oil underneath.This oil stimulates bacteria to multiply and causes surrounding tissue to become inflamed.

Inflammation near the skin's surface produces a "pustules";deeper inflammation results in pimple;deeper still and it's a cyst.If the oil breaks through to the surface,the result is "whitehead".If the oil accumulates "melanin" pigment or becomes oxidized,the oil changes from white to black,and the result is "blackhead".

Here are some factors that don't usually cause acne:

*Heredity:With the exception of very severe acne,most people do not have the problem exactly as their parents did.Almost everyone has some acne at some point in their life.

Food:Parents often tell teens to avoid pizza,cholocolate,greasy and fried food;and junk food.While these foods may not be good for overall health,they don't cause acne or make it worse.Although some recent studies have implicated milk and dairy products in aggravating acne.

Dirt:As mentioned above,"blackheads are oxidized oils,not dirt;sweat does not cause acne.It's not necessary to shower instantly after exercise for fear that sweat will clog pores.

Stress:Some people get so upset by their pimples that they pick at them and make them last longer.

Hormones:Some women break out cyclically,but most women and men do some oral contraceptive pills may help relieve acne,but unless a woman has abnormal menstrual periods and excessive hair growth,its unlikely that hormones play much of a role in causing acne.

Pressure:In some patients,chinstraps,collars,suspenders,the like can aggravate acne.

Drugs:Some medications may cause or worsen acne,such as those containing "iodides","bromides" or injected steroids.Other drugs can cause or aggravate acne are anticonvulsant medications and lithium,which is used to treat "bipolar disorder".

Definitions>>
-whitehead:is a comedo that has an obstructed opening to the skin.A closed comedo may rupture and cause a low-grade skin inflammatory reaction in the area.

-blackhead:Its an open comedo,an open comedo has wide opening to the skin and is capped with a blackened mass of skin debris.

-Zits:Pimples

-Sebaceous gland:A normal gland of the skin which empties an oily secretion into the hair follicle near the surface of the Skin.

-Pustules:A pustule is a small collection of pus in top layer of the skin or beneath it.Pustules frequently form in sweat glands or hair follicles.

-Iodides:Are the chemical forms to which iodine in the diet is reduced before its absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and carried through the blood to the thyroid gland.

-Bromides:Are binary compounds of bromine with silver.

-Biopolar Disorder:A biopolar disorder sometimes called manic-depression that characterically involves cycle of depression and elation or mania.

References>>

Wikipedia

Neutrogena

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