Definition of acne
Acne is a skin condition that is characterized by an inflammatory process of the hair follicle and the attached sebaceous gland . The result is what is commonly called " pimple " or " pimple ", but also nodules and cysts. It normally appears on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. There are effective treatments, however acne can be persistent. The pimples can heal slowly but, just when the disease seems to be being defined, other lesions may appear.
Acne is more common among adolescents, with a prevalence reported from 70 to 87 percent. The disease is increasingly common among younger children.
Depending on its severity, acne can cause damage ranging from emotional stress to disfigured skin. The earlier treatment begins and the lower the risk of both psychic and physical damage.
The most common features of acne are:
more greasy or seborrhea skin ;
black and white points ( blackhead );
the pimples or inflamed boils ( papules ) or stuffed with pus ( pustules ).
If home remedies do not work, consult your family doctor who can direct you to a specialist or prescribe certain medications. If acne persists or worsens it is appropriate to resort to the care of a dermatologist.
Causes of acne
Four main factors cause acne:
Dead skin cells
Excess sebum (a fatty substance that our skin produces to keep it elastic, waterproof and hydrated)
Acne usually appears on the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders . These areas of the skin are more populated by the sebaceous glands ( sebum ) attached to the hairs. Acne occurs when excess oils and dead skin cells accumulate in hair follicles .
In fact, the hair follicles are connected to the sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oily substance (sebum) necessary for the lubrication of hair and skin. Sebum is normally present along the hair shaft and on the hair follicle openings.
When the body produces an excessive amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two factors can accumulate in the hair follicles forming a skin area where bacteria can thrive. Inflammation occurs when the pore is infected with bacteria.
If the pore causes a swelling of the follicle wall, the appearance of a " white spot " may occur . If the "point" is open on the surface it can darken, causing a " black dot ".
A black dot, unlike what you might think, is not the "dirt" that fills a pore, but an excessive amount of bacteria and sebum that in contact with the air takes the typical color that goes from brown to black.
When the blocked follicle is infected or inflamed, the pimple occurs. The pimples are swollen from the affected area with red spots and with a white center. If the inflammation of the hair follicle does not find a way to the outside, instead of nodules or cysts can occur under the surface of the skin. Other pores of the skin, such as the openings of the sweat glands, are usually not involved in acne.
Some factors can trigger or aggravate an existing case of acne:
The diet . Studies indicate that some dietary factors, including dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, sandwiches and fries, can trigger acne. The Chocolate has long been considered a food can worsen the situation. A study performed on 14 men suffering from the disease showed a relationship between chocolate intake and a worsening of acne. However, the available evidence is not yet sufficient, further investigations are needed to examine why this happens or whether patients with acne have to follow specific dietary restrictions.
Stress . Stress can make acne worse.
Hormones . The production of androgens increases in boys and girls during puberty, which can cause an excess of sebum produced by the glands. Hormonal changes related to pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives can also influence the production of sebum. In women, the low amount of androgens can make acne worse.
Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens or lithium can worsen the clinical picture.
Myths about acne
These factors have little effect on the disease:
Fatty foods . Eating fatty foods has little or no effect on acne.
Dirty skin . Acne is not caused by dirt. In fact, washing the skin excessively or using aggressive soaps, or chemicals, irritates the skin, a condition that can cause a worsening of acne. Gently remove sebum, dead skin and other substances.
Cosmetics . The use of cosmetics does not necessarily worsen the situation, especially if you use a makeup that does not clog the pores (noncomedogenics) and that is removed regularly. The so-called Nonoily cosmetics do not interfere with the effectiveness of acne medications.