Acne during puberty is primarily caused by changes and imbalances of hormones, hormones in human body, triggers the production of sebum. Sebum keeps the skin moisturized, and it is often found in most part of the body except on lower lip, palms soles and top of the feet.
The gland under the skin that produces sebum is greatest on the face, neck and chest. That is why most pimples appear on face and neck, and in some cases reach to the back. The sebum, or the natural secretion, accumulates and mixes with the dirt and dust particles in the air.
These dirt particles contain bacteria, and if the opening of the follicle completely closes, the sebum will be degraded and will later form a cyst. It is only after the age of 30 that sebum secretion starts to decrease and pimple cases start to disappear.
People with much acne usually have more Propionibacterium acne on their follicles. This is because the bacteria feed on the sebum. Because our body has natural antibodies like the white blood cells, these bacteria on skin will be easily recognized by these antibodies.
White blood cells will make their enzyme to try to kill the bacteria. This then damages the follicle walls, letting the contents of the follicle to move inside the dermis. This process is what causes small inflammations on skin in the forms of red bumps lumps and swelling.
The bacteria inside will start forming free fatty acids. This fatty acid is an irritant on skin and will increase inflammation of the follicle.
Acne is the most common skin disease all over the world. It affects nearly 85% of all young adults and adolescents. Study shows that this skin problem really affects the performance and confidence of a person. Another study shows that two-thirds of teenagers with this problem badly wanted to talk to their dermatologists about their acne, but only one-third did.
In normal follicles, the skin is kept healthy by the production of sebum. The sebum excreted by sebaceous gland works by combining and swamping its sebum within the hair follicle and fills it up. If the follicle is already filled up with sebum, the sebum then flows and spread on the surface of the skin, making the skin look oily. This is a normal process as oil keeps the skin moisturized.
In the case of unhealthy follicles however, problems start when sebum can’t flow out from the follicle for some reasons. They may be trapped inside because of an obstruction of dirt and dust in the opening of the follicle. The trapped sebum will start to degrade inside and will feel “sticky.” This process is called comedones, which we commonly know as whiteheads and blackheads.
The bigger problem about this skin problem is that, the case and the severity of acne can differ from one person to another. Thus, there is no single treatment for everyone as some skin may react differently in common medications.
The treatment for acne starts in identifying what kind of case it is. This skin problem is divided into three categories, the red bumps, whiteheads and blackheads. Identifying the problem is important, because each type is treated differently.