Acne is a skin problem that both the many teens and adults experience or suffer from. That said, Iet me share what every teen and adult needs to know about acne.
What Causes Teenage Acne?
During the early teen years, boys and girls are at greater risk for acne breakouts, when the oil glands in the body start over-producing sebum (skin oil that can resemble grease).
Adding to the problem, your body sheds dead skin cells constantly and some people have “sticky” skin cells that don’t shed normally, they just remain attached to the skin.
In people who have acne, these excess skin cells mixes with the oil and plug up the hair follicles.
Quite a few myths are floating around out there about what causes acne.
Let’s straighten some of them out right now.
- Dirt does not cause acne
A blackhead may look like dirt plugging one of your pores, but that is not the cause.
The sebum and skin cells mix and sometimes rise to the opening of the pore.
But the real cause is still deep inside the pore.
- Chocolate and French fries
Indulging in these favorites does not increase the production of sebum in the skin.
- Sexual activity
Some of you may have been told that sexual activity or masturbation can cause acne. Not true.
Who Gets More Acne?
While both boys and girls can get acne, it’s more likely to be worse in boys because their bodies produce more skin oils.
Strangely enough, your immune system can come into play as well, making you extra sensitive to the bacteria that get trapped in the hair follicles.
What Makes Acne Worse?
- If you use makeup, suntan products or hair products that contain oil, they can add to the pore-plugging problem.
- Being under stress
Like applying to schools, or struggling with grades, or even dating pressures can help bring out acne.
- During a girl’s period
Hormone levels may create more sebum in the skin, which can worsen the breakouts.
- Overexposure to sun
Beware of the sun, not only can it damage your skin and cause premature aging, it can also cause pimples.
While keeping your skin clean is an important part of treatment, remember to be gentle, no hard scrubbing, no picking or squeezing. You can survive acne.
What Causes Adult Acne?
Regardless of age, acne is a condition of the sebaceous glands. These glands are attached to hair follicles and produce an oily substance called sebum.
An acne lesion forms when a hair follicle becomes plugged with sebum and dead cells.
The pathogenic (disease-causing) events in the sebaceous glands are believed to be due in large degree to changes in levels of androgenic (male) hormones in the body, a circumstance usually associated with the growth and development that occurs between the ages of 12 and 21.
Therefore, it is important to look for an underlying cause of acne that occurs for the first time in adulthood.
Acne that appears after 25 to 30 years of age occurs for one of these reasons:
1. Recurrence of acne that cleared up after adolescence.
2. Flare-up of acne after a period of relative quiet, for example, during pregnancy.
3. Occurs for the first time in a person who had never previously had acne.
Acne that appear for the first time in adulthood should be examined by a dermatologist who can investigate the underlying cause.
Some causes of adult acne are:
Some medications that can induce acne include anabolic steroids, some anti-epileptic medications, the anti-tuberculosis drugs isoniazid and rifampin, lithium and iodine-containing medications.
- Chronic physical pressure on the skin
Chafing from the straps of a backpack or tucking a violin between the jaw and chin can cause chronic physical pressure on the skin and may induce a condition known as acne mechanica.
- Chlorinated industrial chemicals
These may induce the occupational skin disorder known as chloracne.
- Metabolic conditions
Changes in the hormonal balance, such as those brought about by pregnancy, menstruation or hormonal abnormalities can induce acne.
It is also important to know that some lesions which appear to be acne are not acne at all.
One skin condition that resembles acne is folliculitis, which occurs when the hair follicles become infected and inflamed. Folliculitis requires different treatment than acne.
Acne that occur in adulthood may be difficult to treat if there are multiple recurrences.
Some patients with severe recurrent acne have undergone repeated courses of treatment with the potent systemic drug isotretinoin.
Since adult acne may be difficult to treat, acne that appears for the first time in adulthood should be examined and treated by a dermatologist.
If you enjoyed this, share it with your family and friends, especially to those who are experiencing or suffering acne problems.
This post is not a medical advice. It is for informational purposes only. Please do your own diligence in caring for your own health.
Thank you for reading what every teen and adult needs to know about acne. I hope this helps.
You can follow me on News Break below. Until next time. You all take care and be safe.
Photo credits from the top to the bottom:
ShotPot, Cottonbro, Anna Nekrashevich, Polina Tankilevitch