Recent statistics show that as high as 80% of adults have had an outbreak of acne at some point in their lives. Acne affects all genders, sexes and ages, which makes it a universal skin disorder. Fortunately, acne is not transmittable to other humans; however; even though it isn’t contagious, it can spread to the whole face, back and other areas and can affect all of the skin tissues that have pilosebaceous units, which is why it is important to to know what causes acne.
One common myth is that acne only affects those going through puberty. Whether you are an infant or a person in their forties or fifties, it can affect you. Acne infantilis is the term used for acne that grows on newborn babies whereas the term acne rosacea is related to people who are middle-aged.
Acne has different classifications, according to the severity of the infection:
- Comedo – Form of acne where all severe acne cases originate. This is characterized by red swelling or small lesions on your skin. Whiteheads and blackheads are two forms of comedo. Conversely, blackhead is an open comedo. The coloration is due to the accumulation of dark skin pigments called melanin, plus hardened sebum and other skin debris and particles. This is the basic structure of whiteheads, however, the only difference is the coloration and these are deeply situated into the skin layers.
- Papules / pustules – If you have sandpaper-like skin around the tissue of your mouth and on the surface of your forehead, chin and cheeks, you probably have papules. Pus-filled lesions are also termed as pustules.
- Nodules – Similar to pustules but these are firmer and usually larger acne deep in the skin. Inflammation may develop your pustules into containing semi-liquid or liquid materials composed of white blood cells (which are dead because of the acne-infecting bacteria named as Propionibacterium acnes), dead skin cells and active or inactive bacteria. This can result into more serious acne called cysts. In such situations, you may need the assistance of a skin dermatologist or physician.
For more detailed information, read our post “How To Recognize The Different Types of Acne“.
What Causes Acne
It is not easy to determine what may have caused your acne infection since it is normally different from case to case. Studies show that disorder may be caused by several factors, such as: poor diet, weather elements, stress, and hormone changes. It can also be genetically influenced.
Medically speaking, acne starts from the formation of hardened sebum, or the oily substance secreted to the skin through the sebaceous glands. This then will be permeated with acne-infecting bacteria, which in return will trigger the immune system to release white blood cells to obstruct the attack of the bacteria. When this happens, dead white blood cells and bacteria will accumulate in the hair follicles mixed with skin debris and dead skin particles, which then will inflame the lesions.
In most cases where the acne disorder is mild, it can be treated with over the counter acne medications (topical) which you apply on your skin for acne treatment. They may come in several forms, such as: soaps, lotions, gels and creams. Other acne medications, which are generally prescribed for more severe cases, are often taken orally (e.g.: antibiotics.)
The fact that 80% of the population goes through an outbreak at some point in time means that there is always a company working on a treatment, which is good news for you. Just make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest news. We hope that this article helped you in determining what causes acne. If you still have questions, please use the comment box below and ask us.
Disclaimer – Please keep in mind that we are not dermatologists here at Acne Help Today. This was posted for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor and/or dermatologist regarding you health/acne issues.