What is Acne? Acne causes

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What is Acne? Key Factors that Can Cause Acne to Occur

Put simply acne is a skin disease that is most commonly, but not exclusively found to occur during adolescence. It affects a vast amount of people to some degree or another; in fact scientists have concluded that there is an almost an eighty per cent chance of having to deal with acne at some point.

The correct scientific term for acne is referred to as acne vulgaris, and is classified in the worst cases as a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the skin.


Sitting just beneath the external layer of skin are the sebaceous oil glands, and their job is to produce an oily substance which is known as sebum. It is this substance that goes on to help protect and water-proof the outer layer of an individual’s skin. The onset of acne is brought about by an oversupply of this sebum, coupled with blocked pores; as a result of this the acne then occurs.

what is acne

Acne can take the form of many different things, some of which are as follows:

Blackheads
Whiteheads
Cysts
Pimples
Infected abscesses

It is important to try to deal with the symptoms of acne as soon as they occur, this will help to not only alleviate the initial issues plus also go on to help prevent some of the scarring that can occur if it is not dealt with properly. For most people a pimple will tend to appear out of nowhere, very often overnight; however the onset of more serious acne breakouts tend to happen as an extended process.

When an individual develops acne it can stay with them for many years, of course if this is combined with other factors in their life, such as school or other forms of education it can place enormous strain on their emotional wellbeing. This is perhaps why acne has been such a high contributory factor in teenage suicides and suicide attempts. Very often the peer pressure that is placed on them at this delicate time in their lives can be too much to bear for some people and they seek the most drastic of actions as a way out of their own living nightmare.

It is important to understand that it is not purely the facial area that can be susceptible to outbreaks of acne; there are many other areas on the body can also show signs:

Neck
Back
Chest
Shoulders

Fortunately for many people, most of the areas listed can be hidden away from view fairly easily, perhaps with the exception of the neck area that is. Whilst these forms of acne still present emotional difficulties for many people to deal with, they do not present anywhere near the kind of issues that facial acne goes on to present.

what is acne

Key Factors that Can Cause Acne to Occur

Scientists have been battling for many years to try to forge a better understanding of what causes acne, unfortunately there is still much that is unknown as to just why this very unpleasant skin disease occurs. However some of the things that most of the research tends to point towards as a factor in acne occurring is as follows:

Certain foods
Stress
Obesity
Steroid usage
Pregnancy
Genetics
Hormonal imbalances

Very often people will point towards oily or greasy food, plus of course the consumption of chocolate as being something that can cause acne; however in the most part these don’t have any real scientific evidence to support these claims. It is more likely that the overall diet that an individual has, rather than one or two specific food types will affect their skin. For instance when too many carbohydrates are consumed this can have the effect of significantly raising the body’s blood sugar levels and then this will go on to effect the hormonal balance; and can cause breakouts of acne. So rather than one particular type of foodstuff, it might well be not eating a well-balanced diet that has a bigger effect on the likelihood of an individual suffering from acne.

Stress is believed to be very large factors in whether or not an individual is going to have issues with their skin and possible develop acne. The sure fire way to understand if your acne is linked to stress is to be aware of your situation when these outbreaks occur. The stress that people have to deal with in their lives varies from person to person, with some people being better able to deal with the stresses and strains of daily life.

One such group of people who perhaps don’t have the life skills to deal with stress are children, very often during times of pressure and stress their acne outbreaks can be much more severe. Studies have found that in particular students are much more likely to develop acne during examination times. Of course the sad reality is that when an acne outbreak occurs, then the stress levels for that individual will often rise, making it extremely difficult to reduce the effects of the skin disorder.

There is a very strong link between people who are overweight going on to develop acne, with the amount of excess weight or in some cases obesity proving to be a massive factor in just how severe the acne is. Research has found that it is more common place in teenage girls, with this group being nearly twice as likely to develop acne; especially when they are in the latter stages of their teenage years.

Another group of people that can find themselves at risk of acne are the users of steroids; very often this will be a professional sportsperson who is seeking some kind of advantage over another competitor. The vast majority of sports have banned some forms of steroid usage, as it can lead to an individual gaining an unfair advantage over another opponent. The steroids are thought to bring on the acne in much the same ways as how it occurs in a teenager, with an oversupply of certain hormones; which go on to cause an imbalance.

Hormonal imbalances tend to be the overriding reason as to why people will develop acne, when the body produces an excess of a particular hormone it can lead to fairly dramatic results. One such event is during pregnancy, at this time the body goes through some fairly dramatic changes, these changes can very often play havoc with a females hormones; the knock on effect to this can be the outbreak of acne.

If an individual has a parent that has suffered from acne then there is thought to be an increased chance that they themselves will go on to develop acne, when both parents have suffered from acne it is almost inevitable that the individual will also have to go through the ordeal of this skin complaint.

It is not known as to whether scientists will ever be able to get to the bottom of the exactly what causes acne; with so many different people being affected in differing ways.

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