Everyone knows that acne spoils the life of many adolescents and young people, and this is a fairly significant part of the population. In Europe, their number is close to 30 million, in the USA – 27 million, while every second suffers from skin pathologies. 22% of girls aged 16 to 24 complain that they have oily or combination skin, 31% of boys and girls suffer from blackheads and acne, 13% can be diagnosed with real acne.
UGRI is the most common skin disease that affects people of all ages. Despite the prevailing opinion that the disease passes with age, its wide spread creates a serious socio-psychological problem in society, which is most acutely faced by adolescents (up to 80%) and young people (32-35%). Many stereotypes are now being revised, since statistics show that at least 70% of patients with problem skin are women over 20 years old. Acne causes psychological depression, isolation, sometimes even a change in the character and, accordingly, behavior of young people; among those suffering from it, the percentage of unemployed is higher. Thus, acne is not just a cosmetic defect, and is complex th medical, psychological and socio-economic problem. Acne must be treated, and treatment must be started from the moment the first signs of the disease appear.
The causes of acne are not fully understood. Androgens (male sex hormones) play a significant role, which cause increased sebum secretion (because of this, the skin begins to shine strongly). Of course, genetic factors and a decrease in immunity play a role. Stress, irregularities, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, unhealthy diet can only exacerbate existing problems, but cannot be considered causal factors. The common myth that eating fatty foods and chocolate is the cause of oily seborrhea and acne has no scientific basis. It is also doubtful that acne is caused by poor personal hygiene and infection. Later in the next part, you can learn why the infection plays only a minor role in the development of acne.
Causes of acne in boys and girls
Youthful acne (acne vulgaris) is one of the manifestations of the hormonal “storm” accompanying growing up: the bloom of youth is preceded by the “bloom” of the skin. It occurs just before the onset of puberty and usually goes away by 18-19 years.
Juvenile acne is not an infectious disease. The main factors are:
increased skin oiliness ( hyperseborrhea );
” Littered ” dead cells (they do not fly off the skin, as it happens at normalno vydelinii sebum and mix with them, stick together and clog the sebaceous gland passages, accumulate); inflammatory process.
Hyperseborrhea (an indispensable condition for acne) is a hormone-dependent condition. Its development is influenced by hormones: androgens produced by the adrenal glands, as well as by the ovaries in the female body and by the testicles in the male. Under the influence of hormones, the sebaceous glands, especially in the face, upper chest and back, begin to produce excess sebum.
Causes of Acne and Blackheads in Adult Women
For a long time, there was a belief that acne is a problem in adolescents. Indeed, until recently, acne was mainly a problem in adolescents and young adults. Twenty years ago in clinics, 80% of patients who come with such complaints were young people from 12 to 23 years old. When these patients reached their early twenties, the problems usually disappeared. In the 90s, this model seems to have begun to change. Today we are faced with the fact that there is a clear increase in the number of cases of acne in adult women, many of whom suffer from acne in their 20s, 30s and even 40s.
Many women who did not have severe acne in their teens develop it later, often as a result of similar irritants. Compared to adolescents, in adult women, specific irritants play a more significant role in causing acne breakouts.
The most common irritants are: stress (75%), hormonal changes such as the menstrual cycle (68%), abrasions and other skin lesions (53%), pregnancy (35%), use of birth control pills (29%) and cosmetics (21%). Isolated cases include drugs, reactions to the sun and food.
Both sudden and chronic stress are the most common causes of acne. Sudden stress can be triggered by the death of a loved one or, for example, problems with school. Such stress, together with fluctuating hormonal levels, leads to dramatic disturbances in the follicular walls around the fixed comedones ,
resulting in an “outbreak” of acne. It is speculated that bacteria byproducts can enter the dermis and contribute to inflammation. Under the influence of sudden stress, existing “blockages” are destroyed, causing redness and hardening. When returning to normal life, these centers may disappear or dry out spontaneously.
Constant sources of stress such as troubles at work, unfulfilled family responsibilities, and problems with your spouse can lead to chronic stress, which in turn affects the pituitary gland and adrenal gland. This can result in increased production of hormones such as dehydroepiandosterone sulfate, which subsequently leads to the appearance of inflammatory nodules, usually on the chin.
Many women provoke further skin irritation to varying degrees, combing it the harder the stronger the stress. This irritation of the affected areas can cause exacerbation, removes pigment cells from the dermis, leaving light and dark areas on the face, and leads to secondary bacterial infections. Doctors say it is very difficult to wean patients from scratching their irritated skin. The problem is referred to as a “bad habit,” and therapeutic attempts to stop the excruciating compulsive process usually involve the use of special drugs along with group therapy to relieve stress.
Another common cause of acne “flare-ups” is changes in hormone levels in the blood associated with stopping birth control pills.
A similar change can occur during early pregnancy and / or the postpartum period. 10-20 years ago, the use of birth control pills led to “flare-ups” of acne, especially if the pill was based on androgen. Contraceptive pills now contain fewer androgens, and acne patients either stay the same or get better (with birth control). It is a known fact that some women take birth control pills to reduce acne.
Cosmetics are now less likely to cause such problems than 20 years ago, since at present in many countries the use of comedogenic ingredients in cosmetics is prohibited (we will talk about this on the ON-LINE course of non-advertising cosmetology when we turn to the consideration of cosmetics). Although there are still some hairsprays, conditioners and hair pomade, as well as moisturizers and skin care lotions, remain a source of problems for a significant number of acne sufferers. Most of these products contain the main culprit, isopropyl myristate or its derivatives, such as isopropyl palmitate, which, depending on their concentration, are comedogenic substances, the constant use of which in cosmetics can lead to the development of closed comedones in the facial area. Similar rashes on the forehead may appear when you use comedogenic sha mpunya or hair lipstick.
Interestingly, the trend to link acne to nutrition seems to have diminished significantly over the past 30 years. Previously, both the doctor and the patient considered it important, but now food is rarely referred to by patients as an irritant.