The Villain Behind Acne
Acne is a general term for the skin disorder which manifest on most teenagers and people in their middle ages. It is characterized by mild inflammation which come from bumps on the skin.
Typically, there are three categories of acne: blackheads and whiteheads, mild inflammatory and severe cystic nodular acne.
Several methods of treatment should be applied, depending on the severity of the condition. Yet, there is still no absolute cure for acne but there are available treatments and medications which can relieve the patient from the pain, psychological effects and scars which are acne-associated. These treatments may include procedures and therapies which involve the use of topical drugs or those that are applied directly on the infected area of the skin or the surrounding tissues. On the other hand, doctors may prescribe oral or systematic medications. Some of which are antibiotics, tetracycline and its derivatives such as minocycline and doxycycline. Moreover, for the more severe cases the combination of topical and oral treatment may be applied along side with physical treatments in the form of acne removal through laser.
But above all these, what really causes acne?
Contrary to popular belief, acne is neither caused by dirt, or consumption of oily products such as chocolates, or those which contain caffeine. Also, it is not the resultant of improper hygiene or poor diet. Though all these have some level of effects on the actual causes of acne production, these are not determinants of acquiring such.
Fundamentally, acne is caused by the over-induced sebaceous glands. Based on the encyclopedia, sebaceous glands are glands found only in the skin of mammals which is responsible is secreting an oily substance called sebum. Sebum, on the other hand acts as a lubricant to keep the skin from excessive dryness and to keep it from producing irritating patches
In humans, sebaceous are principally found in association with the hair follicles but may also occur in areas of the skin where hair is absent except for the tissues of the skin on the palms and at the bottom of the feet where pilosebaceous units are absent.
Sebum, on the other hand is a combination of dead fat-producing cells and skin debris. These are continuously replenished by the new growth of cells at the base of the glands. In general, the sebum is deposited into the hair follicles which then are brought up to the skin surface via the hair shafts. In hairless sections of the skin however, sebum is excreted through pores and ducts.
Sebum, combined with many forms of natural oils, creates a hydro-lipid system which acts as a barrier. It acts as a protection from the harmful substances which may inflict the skin while keeping the skin hydrated. For dry skins, this barrier is no longer working efficiently so the skin experiences extreme moisture lost.
The prevalence of dry skin during old age is due to the condition that the production of natural oils is decreased in quantity. Young children and infants do experience extensively dry skin because their sebaceous glands are not yet fully developed.
The dryness of the skin may also be due to genetically or inherited factors. Also, these may be attributed to several contributing factors such as humidity or heat, poor ventilation, use of chemicals, soaps, detergents, solvents and excessive contact with water.
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