Acne - How

 
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Acne - How Acne Occurs: The Cellular Processes

Acne is a skin-condition primarily characterized by red pimples on the skin, most especially the face and hands. The redness is due to inflamed or infected sebaceous glands, and most occurs in adolescents although newly-born babies, pregnant women, and older people can and do get acne.



Here are types of changes in the skin that can lead to acne when they occur:

1. Human skin contains pilosebaceous units, consisting of sebaceous glands together with a single hair follicle. The sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum.
2. Hormones produced in the body's adrenal glands can trigger the production of excess sebum (this tends to be especially common during puberty, pre-menstrually, and women with polycystic ovarian syndrome). The excess sebum can cause clogging of the follicle, and this provides a site for bacterial growth. The blocked follicle may appear dark and be at the surface of the skin (known as a "blackhead" or "open comedo").
3. Sometimes follicles may be blocked below below the surface of the skin and will appear lighter (known as a "whitehead" or "closed comedo").
4. Eventually the the pocket of sebum and bacteria may become too large for the follice. The pocket ruptures, and then spills its contents into the surrounding tissue. Then in turn these tissues may become damaged when the body's immune system attempts a repair, resulting in a papule, pustule, cyst or abscess.

Please note however that these types of events in the skin can occur in many people, and may or may not be classified as acne. Whether or not a skin condition is classified as acne depends on the amount of comedones and infection.



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      Guide 2 Acne



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