Anti-Acne

Anti-Acne

Definition of Acne

Acne is a skin condition characterized by the eruption of red pimples, blackheads, and cysts. It most commonly affects the face and chest but can also appear on the back, torso, and even the scalp. Acne is a reflection of reactions occurring in the sebaceous glands. These glands, located in the skin, produce sebum, a lubricating substance. If there is a lack of sebum, the skin will become dry and easily cracked. If there is too much, the skin will become oily and prone to acne. Indeed, excess sebum clogs the ducts of the sebaceous glands, facilitating the proliferation of bacteria normally present on the skin, especially the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, responsible for inflammation (red pimples). When the blocked follicle expands too much, it causes retentional damage (blackheads and microcysts). The symptoms of acne are reasonably well-treated in teenagers and can sometimes be more challenging to cure in adults.

Who is Affected by Acne?


In Western countries, acne is very common in teenagers: it is estimated that 80% to 90% of them experience it at some point. Boys are more affected than girls, with 10% to 20% seeking medical help for this reason. In most cases, acne disappears around the age of 20 or 30, but it can persist, which is called late-onset acne.


Causes of Acne


Acne has a multifactorial origin. Here are some elements that may contribute to its formation:
• Hormonal increase in puberty. During puberty, regardless of gender, sex hormones, especially androgens (which cause the appearance of male sexual characteristics), increase. Under the influence of this surge, sebaceous glands produce more sebum. This increase in sebum production creates a fertile ground for the Propionibacterium acnes bacteria that feed on it;

• Hormonal fluctuations in women. Some women experience acne between 2 and 7 days before menstruation. Contraception can also play a positive or negative role. Women starting certain contraceptive pills may worsen or, conversely, improve acne. Discontinuing contraception (e.g., a desire for pregnancy) can also cause acne. Pregnancy and menopause can also be responsible for its onset;

• A dysfunction in the functioning of the ovaries or adrenal glands. Sometimes, a woman's acne can be attributed to dysfunction of the ovaries or adrenal glands, but this is exceptional. This usually causes other signs besides acne (hair growth, irregular periods, etc.)


Myths Associated with Acne


• Contrary to certain ideas circulating, acne is not caused by poor skin hygiene or high sexual activity;

• Diet is not considered a cause of acne. However, in some cases, acne can be exacerbated by specific foods. The association between acne and milk consumption is weak, according to studies.


Possible Complications of Acne


• Deeper lesions (cysts) can leave scars. Avoid piercing lesions, as this can maintain acne and is more likely to create scars.
• The prolonged presence of many pimples or lesions on the face and body can affect one's image and self-esteem, especially in teenagers. It can increase stress in social relationships.


Often it is possible to improve the appearance of the skin with daily care until acne diminishes or disappears.


Symptoms of Acne


The face, neck, and chest are the regions with the most sebaceous glands, so where acne appears most frequently.

• Blackheads or open comedones: a blackhead appears because the mixture of sebum-skin cells changes color when exposed to air;
• Closed blackheads: come in the form of whiteheads. They are caused by the volume and dilation of hair follicles due to excess sebum;
• Papules: red pimples. Redness indicates inflammation. They can be sensitive to touch;
• Pustules: lesions containing pus. They may be red at the base and sensitive to touch. They form when follicle blockage leads to the accumulation of bacteria;
• Nodules: these lesions are larger, deeper, and more painful to the touch than pustules. They are challenging to touch;
• Cysts: like nodules, they form balls but are located more deeply under the skin. They are sometimes painful and reddish, a sign of infection.



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