Acne & Treatment – Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

Q. What is Acne?

Acne typically causes one or more of the following :

Oily skin
Blackheads (open comedones)
Whiteheads (closed comedones)
Red or yellow spots (pustules)
Deep inflamed lesions (nodules and cysts)
Scars

Q. What causes Acne?

There are a few causes for this:

Acne is caused when tiny holes in the skin, known as hair follicles, become blocked.

Sebaceous glands are tiny glands found near the surface of your skin. The glands are attached to hair follicles, which are small holes in your skin that an individual hair grows out of.Sebaceous glands lubricate the hair and the skin to stop it drying out. They do this by producing an oily substance called sebum.In acne, the glands begin to produce too much sebum. The excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells and both substances form a plug in the follicle. If the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it will bulge outwards, creating a whitehead. Alternatively, the plugged follicle can be open to the skin, creating a blackhead.Normally harmless bacteria that live on the skin can then contaminate and infect the plugged follicles, causing papules, pustules, nodules or cysts.

Teenage acne is thought to be triggered by increased levels of a hormone called testosterone, which occurs during puberty. The hormone plays an important role in stimulating the growth and development of the penis and testicles in boys, and maintaining muscle and bone strength in girls.
The sebaceous glands are particularly sensitive to hormones. It is thought that increased levels of testosterone cause the glands to produce much more sebum than the skin needs.

Acne can run in families. If your parents had acne, it’s likely that you will also develop it.One study has found that if both your parents had acne, you are more likely to get more severe acne at an early age. It also found that if one or both of your parents had adult acne, you are more likely to get adult acne too.

More than 80% of cases of adult acne occur in women. It is thought that many cases of adult acne are caused by the changes in hormone levels that many women have at certain times.

These times include:
periods– some women have a flare-up of acne just before their period
Pregnancy– many women have symptoms of acne in pregnancy, usually during the first three months of their pregnancy
polycistic ovary syndrome – a common condition that can cause acne, weight gain and the formation of small cysts inside the ovary

Q. Who gets Acne?

Everyone could experience some form of Acne. As well as teenagers, more and more men and women are experiencing adult onset Acne. 75% of teenagers and up to 40% of adults will suffer from acne spots, blemishes.

Q. How is active Acne treated?

Firstly, the aim is to reduce the number of inflamed spots in order to prevent skin scarring and psychological distress, and secondly, to prevent new spots from forming. The aim is to:

Reduce inflammation
Reduce sebum production
Reduce the proliferation of skin cells
Reduce levels of the P. Acne bacteria.