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October 4, 2007
Posted in: Beauty,Body Care,Skin Care,Skin Problems by cindypk @ 4:38 pm

Acne is a common inflammatory disorder of the sebaceous glands. It generally appears on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest. The hallmarks of acne are spots and skin eruptions such as blackheads with papules, whiteheads (pustules), raised red blemishes with semi-solid centres and localised bacterial infection beneath the skin’s surface.

Who can get acne?

Most people associate acne with the troublesome teenage years. Indeed, up to 75% of adolescent males and up to 30% of adolescent females are affected. However, up to 8% of people who had clear skin in their youth develop acne as adults. In fact, acne can erupt at any age.

What causes acne?

Acne can be triggered at any age by an abnormal response of the skin to normal levels of the male hormones “androgens” (masatlinising hormones which are present in both men and women). These hormones control how much oil, or sebum, is secreted from the sebaceous glands. Hormonal imbalances can lead to an overproduction of sebum. In women, menstrual periods or pregnancy can also create acne-producing hormonal disturbances. In fact, one reason why acne sometimes occurs during pregnancy, and why it is a common symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome and in women who have recently stopped taking the contraceptive pill, is because of the hormonal disruption that occurs in all three cases.

Other acne triggers:

Emotional stress exacerbates the problem by triggering the body’s adrenal glands to become overactive, which, in turn, boosts sebum production. Certain medications, particularly steroids, contraceptives or drugs that affect hormonal levels.
*Internal disturbances in the natural balance of flora in the gut, resulting in bad digestion due to lack of friendly bacteria
*Internal toxicity in the body, which can be caused by a variety of factors including constipation, bacterial or yeast overgrowth (candida in the gut) or a food sensitivity. (Toxins are disposed of by the body through the skin.) Contrary to popular belief, in the vast majority of cases acne is not caused by eating chocolate, dairy products, red meat, nuts, or fatty snacks or by drinking colas! However, in certain people acne can be brought on or aggravated by their sensitivity to certain foods or food allergies.

Facts about acne

Clinical manifestations of acne range from non-inflammatory comedones, the primary lesion of acne, to inflammatory papules, pustules and cysts caused after the follicular duct becomes plugged. The pathogenesis of acne is multi-factorial and involves over-production of sebum, an abnormal follicular keratinization process, proliferation of a number of certain bacteria particularly Propionibacterium acnes, and hormonal and immunological factors. Microbiology of acne – on examining the aerobic and anaerobic microbiology of pustular acne lesions it is found that most pustules are infected by more than one bacterial species.

The bacterial species predominantly present and therefore associated with acne vulgaris are:
Staphylococcus aureus (aerobic)
Staphylococcus epidermidis (aerobic)
Propionibacterium acnes (anaerobic)
Peptostreptococcus species (anaerobic)
Bacteriodes species (anaerobic)

Treatment of acne

Conventional treatments of acne vulgaris include combinations of topical anti­inflammatory, antibiotic and peeling agents, oral antibiotics, topical and oral retinoids and hormonal agonists and antagonists. Some of these are linked with unwanted and even harmful side effects. Certain “cosmetic” skin care preparations do not demonstrate properties to fight the root cause of acne and in particular the bacterial infections associated with acne. However, most of these treatments do not actively deal with the microbiological aspects of acne. An effective treatment has to have strong antimicrobial l antibacterial properties,
because the identified bacteria are the cause of the infections in acne, which is so obvious and visible.

At The Organic you will find chemcial-free natural and organic skincare, haircare and cosmetics, click here for some specifically for Acne

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