Pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. Presence of these characterizes acne. But what is acne? In a very simple language, it is a disorder of the hair follicle or pore. Acne vulgaris or common acne is classified as a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin. It mainly affects the face, neck, chest, back and sometimes upper arms of sufferers. Development varies from very mild to extremely severe.
When oil and dead skin cells become trapped within the hair follicle, this results to development of acne. It clogs the pore resulting to a comedo. Non-inflamed comedones are blackheads and whiteheads. As the breakout progresses and bacteria invade, the follicle wall may rupture within the dermis, creating inflammation and redness. Inflamed blemishes vary in severity depending on the damage to the follicle wall and the amount of infection present. Severe cases of acne may lead to deeper lesions and cysts. Most people with acne have a number of comedones. However, not every acne sufferer necessarily suffers from inflamed breakouts.
Acne does not affect teens only, even adults and young children can suffer from acne. More often acne first appears during puberty, when there is a surge of androgen hormones within the body. Androgen hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands, producing an oilier complexion and making the skin more prone to breakouts. In addition to puberty, women may see considerable hormonal fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and perimenopause. During these phases, acne is most likely to develop.
While it is easy to define what is acne, there is no exact cause why acne occurs to many people. Only the factors that influence acne can be determined. Apart from androgen hormones, those who have oilier skin than the average are more prone to acne. Excess oil can easily become trapped within the pore, creating an impaction. Oily cosmetics and certain drugs or medications can also contribute acne development. Acne is most likely to be hereditary as well.
Now you know what is acne, depending on the case that you have, it can be treated effectively at home, with good daily skin care and over-the-counter treatments; or, you may have to contact your dermatologist to help you treat that nasty skin disorder.