WHAT CAUSES ACNE?
Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous units in the dermis (the inner layer of the skin). These pilosebaceous units consisting of a hair follicle and its associated sebaceous glands are connected to the skin surface by: 1 duct through which the hair shaft during puberty, there is an increase in the sexhormones in both sexes under the influence of increased sex hormones, these sebaceous glands increase in size and produce larger amounts of sebum. Also, at the same time, there is an increased bui1d—up of keratin on the outer most layer of the skin. Increased build up of sebum and keratin may lead to clogged pores. The clogging of the pores will result in non-inflammatory acne, also known as comedowns (whiteheads and blackheads). Inflammatory acne is a result of the growth of P acnes bacteria in the sebaceous glands. The inflammatory acne may appear reddened, raised (known as papule), contain pus (known as pustule), and can rupture spontaneously. This inflammatory acne is the one that causes permanent scarring.
Topical (directly applied to the skin) antibiotics are effective in the treatment of inflammatory acne; an agent such as clindamycin has proven to be an effective treatment. Topical application of antibiotics significantly reduces the number of papules and pustules in patients with inflammatory acne. Topical antibiotics are available in gels and solutions and the medication applied will depend on the patient’s skin type and preference. Individuals with oily skin can use the solution as it has a slightly drying effect and can also reduce oiliness. Those with normal skin may opt for gel as it is non-drying and retains moisture to prevent dehydration. Lastly, if you have inflammatory acne, please seek medical advice from your doctor or pharmacist before you start treatment as they may be able to provide you with the proper counseling on acne management.
Infantile acne, a rare condition affecting male infants, is associated with subsequent severe acne vulgaris in adolescence. There seems to be a link between increased levels of androgen or male sex hormones, and the heightened secretion of sebum at puberty. Only a qualified medical specialist can assess and treat this seemingly hereditary condition.
The application of oil and grease on the skin, mostly from cosmetics, leads to another common condition known as acne cosmetic. Thus, if you're prone to pimples or whiteheads, look for oil-free makeup and those specifically marked "non- comedogenic" or "non— acnegenic." But even natural oil from the scalp can cause acne around the hairline, which is still classified as acne cosme-tica. And regular contact with mineral and cooking oils among kitchen workers can make the condition worse. isolating the because acne cosmetica can show up on your face within 24 hours after using a new product, or it may take weeks to develop. The rule, therefore, is to introduce new cosmetics one at a time at two—week (or longer) intervals.
Chemical acne affects people who are sensitive to iodine and bromides, and most commonly appears around the mouth as whiteheads, blackheads, or little red pimples. It can also be caused by exposure to certain chemicals and oils in the environs, and results in acne in unusual sites, such as on the legs. Chemical acne can crop up within hours of your having eaten food high in iodine (e.g. seafood and processed foods high in iodized salt), or taken medications or vitamins containing iodine or bromides. — Some drugs can trigger or aggravate existing acne by stimulating oil production in the skin. Among the most commonly used of these drugs are: androgens, barbiturates, ionized, rifampicin, lithium, bromides, and iodides. If topical treatment fails to effect a cure, lorig·term therapy)' (sometimes lasting up to six months) with low-dose antibiotics may be resorted to under a doct0r's supervision. This treatment attacks the bacteria on the skin and lessens inflammation as well as sebum production. Cystic acne can also be injected (in a doct0r's clinic) with a weak corticosteroid solution to "deflate" it and thus avoid scarring. Perhaps the most popular treatment for acne these days involves the use of retinoid. These drugs reduce oil production and have a drying effect on the skin, but must be taken cautiously because they may cause liver damage and other serious problems.