Acne is a skin change caused by inflammation and sebaceous glands malfunction. Acne most often occurs on the face, as well as on the upper back and chest, where the sebaceous glands (so-called seborrheic areas) are most common.
There are many pores on the skin surface. These are the mouths of the hair follicles – cases that surround the hair of the skin. The follicles open up the ducts of the sebaceous glands located under the skin. The figures below show the structure of a typical sebaceous gland.
The structure of the hair follicle: the mouth of the hair follicle (pore), opening to the surface of the skin, the sebaceous gland. The secret of the sebaceous gland envelops the hair and opens to the surface of the skin.
Reasons for acne (acne, eel and acne)
Acne is a complex disease of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. When the follicles of sebum and hair ducts are clogged with a “cork” from a mixture of sebum and dead skin scales develop common eels (another name – comedones).
If the follicles are open, the plugs look like black spots on the face, and are called open comedones.
Comedones can also be closed (they do not correspond with the surface of the skin). These comedones are called white eels, or white dots.
The production of sebum under a closed sebaceous duct cork continues and is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria (propionic acne bacteria) that usually live peacefully in the sebaceous glands. The rapid growth of the bacterial population leads to the development of inflammation, which can manifest itself on the skin from small pimples to huge purulent acne.
Numerous studies show that sebaceous glands hyperfunction is the root cause of acne.
So what causes it?
The most common cause of acne is natural age-related changes in hormonal balance (“hormonal spike”). Teenage acne is caused by steroid hormones, the main of which are androgens, male sex hormones, which are produced not only in young people, but also in girls. The level of androgens during puberty rises sharply. Under their influence during complex chemical reactions in the skin there is a sharp increase in the number of sebocytes – secretory cells of the sebaceous gland. In fact, the number of “workers” in the sebum factory is increasing.
By provoking acne in teenagers, hormones not only increase the amount of sebum, but also change its composition, making it viscous and dense. Usually, skin fat is liquid, and the problem of acne does not occur even with problematic oily skin.
This is how plugs are formed in the ducts of hair follicles. These are the causes of acne rash formation. First, microcomedons are formed, of which open and closed comedons. Caps of comedones block the exit of fat and sebum products.
Having received such an excess of food, begin to actively reproduce propionibacterium acne bacteria. These bacteria always live in the mouths of hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Normally, they do not manifest themselves in any way and only in isolated cases can cause acne and inflammation.
Products of life of these bacteria have a strong irritant effect in contact with surrounding tissues. This is how inflammation develops. Constantly expanding hair follicle can break with the formation of pustules.
Four factors can be identified, the joint action of which is the cause of pimples:
- Hyperandrogenemia stimulates the sebaceous glands.
- Follicular hyperkeratosis. The outer layer of human skin is called the horn layer. Constant renewal of the skin is due to the sloughing of corneal, dead skin plates of this layer. A similar process occurs in the hair follicles.
- Follicular hyperkeratosis is an excessive development of the follicle stratum corneum, which causes the appearance of acne, as for the formation of comedon cork it is necessary not only skin fat, but also slack skin scales.
- Excessive secretion of fat by the sebaceous glands and follicular hyperkeratosis leads to the fact that the skin fat accumulates in the sebaceous gland, resulting in an increase in its volume, resulting in an aseptic (no bacteria) inflammation in the gland.
- Reproduction of Propionibacterium acnes, propionic bacteria acne. It is worth mentioning that acne bacteria live at the mouth of sebaceous glands and absolutely healthy people, along with such representatives of skin microflora as Propionibacterium granulosum, Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria, Malassezia fungi and tiny Demodex mites (demodex). All of these “living things” are extremely rare causes of pimples in healthy people. But when the sebaceous gland is corked with a horn plug and the hyperproduction of sebum creates favorable conditions for the reproduction of all this “normal” microflora and there is a purulent pimple, pimple).