Wednesday, September 4, 2019

What causes acne? :: essays research papers

What causes acne?   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Acne vulgaris, the medical term for common acne; is the most common skin disease. It is so common that nearly eighty-five percent of the population will develop some form of acne at some time between the ages of twelve and twenty-five years. Although there are several theories about what causes acne, medical doctors generally agree that acne is a by-product of hormonal changes in the body.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  At puberty (that period of life when a child develops secondary sex characteristics), increased levels of androgens (normally referred to as the male hormone) cause the sebaceous glands to produce to much sebum. The sebaceous glands lie just beneath the skin’s surface. They produce an oily substance called sebum, the skin’s natural moisturizer. These glands and the hair follicles (the tube like structures from which hair develops) within which they are found are called sebaceous follicles. These follicles open into the skin through pores. When excess sebum combines with dead sticky skin cells a hard plug, or comedo is formed. If comedones are open to the surface, they are called blackheads. Comedones that are closed at the surface are called white heads. Plugged follicles can rupture internally, resulting in a discharge of their contents into the surrounding tissues. A comedo is the mildest type of acne.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Moderate and severe inflammatory types of acne are the result of plugged follicles being invaded by the bacteria that normally lives on the skin. The role of the bacteria is unclear. Bacteria may act by causing chemical reactions in the sebaceous fluid, leading to the release of very irritating compounds called fatty acids. These in turn cause inflammation that increases susceptibility to infection. A pimple forms when the damaged follicle weakens and bursts open, releasing a substance (sebum, bacteria, and skin) into the surrounding tissues. Pimples that are near the skin’s surface and are inflamed are called papules. When pimples are deeper they are called pustules. This process begins an inflammatory response that sets the stage for the development of acne. Specialists are unable to detect the exact cause of acne, but there are many risk factors that have been identified with the contribution of developing acne. Diet does not cause acne, but certain foods can cause flare-ups. However, eliminating certain foods, particularly chocolates and fats, appear to improve some cases of acne. Teenagers are more likely to develop acne, due to hormonal changes they experience. Boys tend to develop more severe acne than girls, as well as more often.

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