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Who Gets Acne and Why?

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Who gets acne? From a medical standpoint, one who gets acne has a combination of factors working in concert. Two or more factors can cause a condition based on the anatomy and physiology of the skin itself to promote an inflammatory response that we call acne. The factors that may cause acne include:

~ Increased oil " either production by the sebaceous glands or added (in makeup etc.)
~ Retention Keratosis - skin cells that are not shed properly and plug sebaceous ducts
~ Trapped bacteria under the skin"s surface " normally present and harmless as they are on the surface.

By and large, genetics can play a part in acne in that our genetic blueprint does influence thickness of skin, oily tendencies of the skin and basic hormone responses. However, just because one"s parent or another family member has acne, does not necessarily mean that you or I will have acne.

It most often occurs in the teenage years, but may appear a few days after birth. This is more often related to increased activity in the hormone processes within the skin. Older persons can develop adult acne, sometimes from different causes. Still basic factors of plugging an oil gland result in the development of an inflammatory process.

If my mom or dad had acne, will I? If your mom had acne you may have a higher likelihood of developing acne at some time in your life than your best friend. This doesn"t necessarily mean that you will have acne. In fact you may never have acne. If your mom had acne, I"ll bet she can share some secrets with you of things she tried that may have helped the symptoms of her acne.

Do all ethnic groups battle acne? Persons in every ethnic group may have acne. The genetic component is still in effect. Each parent"s family tree will have some effect in a specific persons acne. Significant factors still relate to whether or not the person"s skin is oily and the thickness of skin. Other factors such as sun exposure, makeup and skin care products used may influence breakouts as well. Blue eyed, lighter complexion persons usually have thinner and more dry skin as a rule. That group probably has less acne problems than some other groups.

I'm 30 -- why acne now? It is becoming more and more common for young women who had no problem during teen years to develop acne between age 30-35. There are probably many reasons. One significant reason is related to the use of birth control pills. Oral contraceptives utilize two hormone groups that are synthetically made to mimic the ovarian cycle/ovulation processes that are normally at work only during pregnancy. Specifically, birth control pills trick the ovaries into thinking the lady is already pregnant and ovulation does not occur. These synthetic hormones in most birth control pills have strong Androgenic (male hormone) side effects on sebaceous gland production of oil in the skin.

Another possible reason for the 30 year-old onset of acne might relate to hormone adjustments after a pregnancy, nursing a child, or simply experiencing the stressful lifestyle so prevalent today with all the demands and time limits we impose on ourselves. Men may still have acne symptoms at age 30, but it is unlikely that acne will develop then for the first time. We are all still subjected to stress, and men may skip the gentle cleansing of facial areas after sports, etc., so acne can still be a problem.  Information Courtesy Reversion