| | What causes acne??? Here's some helpful info.
There are many factors when its comes to the question of "What causes acne?" Here's some information for your benefit. There are higher levels of sex hormones at puberty than in younger children. These hormones are converted in the skin to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which stimulates oil glands to enlarge. The oil glands, called sebaceous glands, produce sebum. The more sebum, the more likely it is that acne will be troublesome. If sebum and keratin (dead skin cells) block the skin pores, comedones can develop. The wall of the follicles may rupture. Bacteria and comedonal debris cause acne pimples or pustules (inflammatory lesions). Acne usually becomes less of a problem after the age of 25 years, although about 15% of women and 5% of men continue to have acne as adults.
Some people have particularly severe acne. This may be because of:
Genetic factors (family members have bad acne)
Hormonal factors (higher levels of androgenic hormones) due to: Polycystic ovaries (common)
Enzyme deficiency eg sterol hydroxylase deficiency (very rare). Excessive corticosteroids (eg Cushing's disease) (rare). Psychological stress and depression
Environmental factors such as: High humidity causing swelling of the skin. Cosmetics especially certain moisturisers, foundation and pomades (watch out for lanolin, petrolatum, vegetable oils, butyl stearate, lauryl alcohol and oleic acid)
Petroleum oils. Pressure from headbands & chin straps (eg: "fiddler's neck"). Certain medications.
Why acne eventually resolves is not understood. It does not coincide with a reduction in sebum production or with a reduction in the number of bacteria. It may relate to changes in the sebaceous glands themselves.
As I've said before, many dermatologists believe there will be a cure for Acne by the year 2010.
I hoped this help.
[This message has been edited by Dr_DoOoOoM (edited 09-07-2003).]