Acne is a common dermatological condition, that can start at any age, unfortunately affecting millions of young adults around the world. It is thought that 80% of the population aged 11 to 30 are in fact affected by acne. It is often most commonly seen in girls from 14-17 and boys from 16-19. There are several types of spots all for different reasons; blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules and cysts with acne most often seen developing on the face, back and chest.
Acne occurs when our sebaceous glands in our hair follicles become overactive. These glands secrete sebum, an oily substance that lubricates our skin and hair. Sebum moves along the hair shafts and through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin.
An individual that suffers with acne, will produce an excess of sebum, which will form a plug of dead skin cells and block the hair follicle. This creates an environment for bacteria to thrive in and therefore inflammation will result.
The clogged pore may cause the follicle wall to protrude and a whitehead will form. A blackhead is formed when the plug is open on the surface, congested with bacteria and oil, which turns brown when exposed to the air.
The bacteria that lives on the skin, which most of the time is harmless, can infect the blocked follicle. This causes the neighbouring skin to become inflamed, creating pus which will then develop into spots, nodules and cysts.
- Hormones: Changes in your hormones due to menstruation, pregnancy and others causing the sebaceous glands to enlarge and therefore produce more sebum.
- Diet: Many factors related to your diet can contribute to acne such as foods that can cause inflammation or those that result in increases in your blood sugar. All of which can cause an eruption.
- Stress: Certain studies have linked stress to an increase in the production of sebum, resulting in acne.
- Toxicity: Toxic chemicals in water, food and the air can lead to blocked pores. Cleansing your body of all toxic chemicals can sometimes lead to a minor outbreak of acne due to the eradication of toxins from your body.
- Medications: Can increase the toxicity of your system as well as increase the proportion of acne-related hormones, such as androgens.
Types of Spots:
- Blackheads: black/yellow bumps that are darker in colour due to the pigmentation produced by the lining of the hair follicle
- Whiteheads: firmer than blackheads but will can not be removed when squeezed
- Pustules: contain a white tip in the centre, containing a build up of pus
- Papules: red bumps that are sore to touch
- Nodules: hard, painful and large bumps underneath the skins surface
- Cysts: a severe acne spot that is pus-filled, similar to boils, but carry the risk of permanent scarring
Types of Acne:
- Acne Vulgaris: the most common type of acne in which there is a presence of blackheads, whiteheads and pustules on the skin.
- Mild Acne: fewer than 20 blackheads and whiteheads and less than 15 inflamed bumps
- Moderate Acne: up to 20 to 100 whiteheads and blackheads with 15-50 inflamed bumps
- Acne Mechanica: caused by pressure, friction and heat against the skin, sometimes referred to as ‘sport induced acne’ due to it most commonly seen in athletes
- Severe Nodulocystic Acne: multiple inflamed cysts and nodules turning a deep red or purple, often leaving scars
- Acne Conglobata: severe form of acne that involves the connection of nodules on the surface to the those under the skin, often most seen on the back, chest and arms
Get in touch with me if you have any of these symptoms and I can help you to eradicate the problem once and for all!