Monday, September 15, 2008

Acne

Acne is a skin condition that causes spots. Most people affected by acne are aged between 12 and 25. Acne is very common and affects about 80 in 100 people aged 11-30 at some time.

What are conditions of acne?

Acne is a skin condition that typically causes one or more of the following:

  • whiteheads
  • red or yellow spots
  • blackheads
  • greasy skin
  • scars

Acne typically affects the skin of the face, back, neck, chest and arms and the severity of the
condition can vary. Acne affects people of all skin colors. The processes that cause acne are exactly the same in people with black or brown skin but the impact is altered by the skin pigmentation.

What causes acne?

Acne is caused by the over activity of some glands that produce oily substances onto the skin. For some people, their acne does not progress beyond the initial stage. However in other people, the build-up of oil in the hair follicles makes an ideal environment for a bacterium known as Propionibacterium acnes to grow.

These bacteria normally live harmlessly on your skin but when this ideal environment is created, they grow. They feed off the sebum and produce substances that cause a response from your body's immune system. This burns the skin and creates the redness associated with spots.
In more strict seditious acne', cysts develop beneath the skin's surface. These acne cysts can split, spreading the infection into nearby skin tissue. It can result in scarring.

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