Acne is the most common of all skin diseases. Some figure has it that eighty percent of all people between the ages of twelve and twenty-four have some type of acne. It is a disorder of the oil glands in the skin. Contrary to some conventional conceptions, it is a problem suffered not exclusively by teenagers. Some people are plagued their whole lives with constant outbreaks of acne. The hair follicles, or pores, in our skin are connected with oil glands called sebaceous glands. These glands produce sebum, an oily substance that lubricates our hair and skin. At the same time, dead skin cells are expelled from the pore lining while sebum is being distributed to the exterior surface of the skin.
Most of the time the glands produce the right amount of sebum and the pores are fine. But sometimes when too much sebum is produced, a pore or two may get clogged up. This plug blocks the pore, preventing the sebum or dead skin cells from leaving the pore. The situation could further be aggravated by a build-up of bacteria that live on sebum. This leads to swelling around the pore and acne is the result. This could happen to anybody, young and old.
However, a few eruptions every now and then are not what concern us. We acne sufferers are concerned with those numerous and serious pimples that dotted our face and neck and never seem to go away. As soon as some old ones begin to subside, to our relief, more new ones pop up. The constant battles eventually turn into hopeless struggles.
Why does acne occur? And why does acne have to be on the face, and not on some harmless spot, like, say…the sole? The latter question has its answer in our body. It’s because the oil glands in our skin are concentrated in the T-zone–the face, the neck, the chest, the back, and the shoulders. Nobody knows for sure the exact cause of acne. We only know about some of the elements that influence its development, and they are:
- Oily skin or hair
- Increased production of male hormones at puberty
- Hormonal imbalance in women
- Some prescription medications
- Cosmetics that contain chemicals and vegetable oil
- Periods of high stress
- Some nutritional deficiencies