THE SCIENCE BEHIND ACNE: UNDERSTANDING THE CAUSES AND TREATMENTS
Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide, popularly known as pimples in Nigeria. While it is often associated with puberty and adolescence, pimples can occur at any age and can have a significant impact on an individual's self-esteem and quality of life.
In this article, we will explore the science behind it, including its causes and treatments.
Causes of Acne/Pimples
Contrary to the popular opinion of the dark skin community(that pimples are caused by dirtiness) pimples are caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, hormones, and environmental factors.
At the root of acne is the pilosebaceous unit, which consists of a hair follicle and a sebaceous gland. The sebaceous gland produces sebum, an oily substance that helps to lubricate the skin and hair.
When sebum production is increased, the excess oil can combine with dead skin cells and bacteria, leading to the formation of a comedone, or a clogged pore. Comedones can present as either blackheads or whiteheads, depending on whether the pore is open or closed.
Hormones also play a significant role in acne development. Androgens, which are male hormones that are present in both males and females, stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum. This is why acne is often associated with puberty, as the body undergoes significant hormonal changes during this time.
Environmental factors can also contribute to the development of acne. For example, certain medications, such as steroids, can cause acne as a side effect. Additionally, exposure to pollutants and other toxins can irritate the skin and lead to breakouts.
Use of certain medications like corticosteroids and anticonvulsants
Stress and anxiety
Poor diet and nutrition
Exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants
Wearing tight or non-breathable clothing
Certain underlying medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Treatments for Acne/Pimples
The treatment of acne depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases of acne can often be treated with over-the-counter products that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide like our Glamtox face wash and Acne face soap.
These ingredients work by exfoliating the skin and killing the bacteria that can contribute to acne development.
For more severe cases of acne, prescription medications may be necessary. These can include topical and oral medications, such as antibiotics and retinoids. Topical retinoids work by increasing cell turnover and preventing the formation of comedones, while oral antibiotics can help to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
In some cases, hormonal therapy may be necessary to treat acne. This can involve the use of birth control pills or other medications that regulate hormone levels.
Change of One’s Lifestyle
In addition to medication, lifestyle changes can also help manage acne. This can include practicing good hygiene, avoiding harsh skincare products and using skincare products that are skin friendly like Hush’D skincare products, and eating a healthy diet that is low in sugar and processed foods.
Acne/pimples are a common skin condition that can have a significant impact on an individual's quality of life. While the causes of acne are complex, with a combination of genetics, hormones, and environmental factors at play, there are a range of treatments available that can help to manage the condition. By understanding the science behind acne, individuals can take a proactive approach to their skincare and work towards achieving clear, healthy skin.