Acne - Skin's Miniture Volcanoes
Uploaded by Ladyham50 on May 03, 2002
This purpose of this paper is to explain the cause of acne, give some examples, and how to get help prevent it. This paper will also dispel some of the myths of acne and how it is caused.
Acne is a condition of the skin that ranges in appearance from raised bumps to pustules (large cysts and pimples). Acne is so common that more than 80 percent of the population will have some form of it at some time in some time of their lives.
Although there are several theories about what causes acne, authorities generally believe that acne is a by-product of hormonal changes in the body during puberty- that period of life when a child develops the secondary sex characteristics (such as facial and body hair, deepened voice, and increased muscle mass in boys and breast development and breast development and menstruation in girls). At this time, production of hormones (particularly the male hormone testosterone) increases and stimulates sebaceous glands in the skin to produce sebum (an oily secretion). Most excess oil produced by these glands leaves the skin through the hair follicles (the tube like structures from which the hair develops). Sometimes, oil clogs these tubes and creates comedones (blocked hair follicles). Comedones are what form the initial lumps in acne.
If comedones are open to the surface of the skin, they are called blackheads. They contain sebum from the sebaceous glands, bacteria, and any skin tissue that accumulates near the surface. Comedones that are closed at the surface are called whiteheads. Plugged follicles can rupture internally, resulting in a discharge of their contents into the surrounding tissues. This process begins an inflammatory response that sets the stage fore the development of acne.
The role of the bacteria is acne is unclear. Bacteria may act by causing chemical reactions in the sebaceous fluid, leading to the release of very irritating compounds called fatty acids. These in turn may cause inflammation that increases susceptibility to infection.
Authorities disagree about the role of diet as the cause of acne. Diet alone does not cure acne, nor does stem from an allergic reaction to a specific food. However, some cases of acne appear to improve after eliminating certain foods, particularly chocolates and fats. In addition, emotional stress seems to increase the severity of acne in certain cases.
Acne causes raised swellings, most frequently on the face, neck, and back, chest and shoulders. In severe cases,...