Under the influence of a number of factors, whether endogenous or exogenous, sometimes the sebaceous glands begin to produce natural lubricating substance more than it is necessary. As a result of the hyper secretion, an excessive amount of sebum accumulates in the openings of the hair follicles, which, mixed with dead cells and contaminants, leads to blockage of the pores and occurrence of the well-known comedones.
Blocked pores often create favorable conditions for the spread of Propionibacterium acnes, which, by releasing chemicals and enzymes, cause accumulation of white blood cells (leukocytes). The sending of leukocytes to the colonized by bacteria area and the subsequent inflammation are protective responses of the body, which in this case is in the form of pustules.
Affecting nearly 660 million people, acne is ranked among the top 10 most common diseases worldwide. In the scope of this skin problem fall mostly young people, but there are several other risk groups, as well.
At puberty the levels of androgen hormones rise dramatically, whose function is directly related to that of the sebaceous glands. Hormones cause enlargement of the gland, which leads to increased excretion of sebum and to higher risk of clogging of the hair follicles.
People whose parents had acne
Studies on close relatives show that there is a hereditary predisposition for acne. Moreover, scientists believe that for the transmission of the disease is responsible not one but several genes.
The reason the fairer sex in this case is the “weaker” one is the frequent fluctuation in the hormonal balance, accompanying the periods of ovulation, pregnancy and menopause.
People under stress
Uncontrolled nervous tension leads to acne and acne – to nervous tension, creating a vicious circle. Under the influence of stress hormones the sebaceous glands activate and by producing more sebum they become the reason for the blockage of pores.
The over 4800 compounds contained in cigarette smoke irritate and dry the skin out. Trying to compensate for the lost moisture and oxygen sebum glands become hyperactive and turn into a prerequisite for the development of acne.
Fans of fast carbohydrates
There is scientific evidence for the link between excessive consumption of foods with a high glycemic index (white bread, pastries, potatoes, etc.) and acne. The explanation lies in the sharp rise of blood sugar that triggers a series of hormonal changes in the body.
People subject to certain types of treatment
People taking certain medications also fall in the risk group. Some drugs trigger the familiar chain “hormonal imbalance – hyper secretion of sebum – acne”, while others send false signals to the white blood cells, causing them to react with inflammation to an imaginary danger. . There are many other factors, able to put a person in the category of the most susceptible to acne – living or working in a highly polluted environment; lack of good hygiene; maniacal facial cleansing; frequent mechanical irritation of the skin; thickening of the outermost layer; use of inappropriate cosmetics and so on.
In each case, the discovery of the source is the most important step towards solving the problem. Only after identification of the cause and its elimination (when possible) one can ensure the effectiveness of the applied pharmaceuticals and specialized cosmetics.