Acne 101: What Causes Acne?

Cameron Diaz with acne

Following on from my last post Acne 101: What is Acne? this post hopefully enlightens you about the key processes involved in the development of acne, which are all targets for treatment. 

What causes Acne?
Acne is an inflammatory condition of the hair-sweat gland complex that is a result of four processes:

1. Abnormal keratinocyte proliferation & desquamation leading to hair duct obstruction
This leads to the development of acne precursor lesion - the microcomedone. These are not visible to the naked eye but evolve into larger more visible lesions.

2. Hormones (androgens) causing a rise in sebum production
An increase in androgen hormones promotes sebum production that block the hair follicles and fill them with fat-rich material and form closed and open comedones (white heads and black heads).

3. Proliferation of a bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes
The sebum stuck in the hair follicles acts as food for bacterial growth, leading to P. acnes proliferation.

4. Inflammation
P. acnes releases chemical signals that promote inflammation that is spread by the burst of the comedones into the nearby skin. This inflammation causes thhe formation of acne papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.

In treating acne, all these four processes should be targetted depending on the severity of acne and the types of lesions acne-sufferers have. 

Stay tuned for my next post on How to Prevent Acne!

If you've got a question or an opinion on this, leave a comment at the bottom of this post! 
Livia | The Skin and Beauty Blog

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  1. You have been posting some really important posts! I am loving them.. keep ém coming! :-)

  2. I can't wait for the prevention post! :D



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