You’ve just rolled out of bed when, oh no! You notice the presence of undesired pimples on your face, which was blemish-free the night before. Could acne be creeping up on you just before school starts?
Where does acne come from?
Acne is a skin disease that is very common, but not without consequence. The risk of scars and low self-esteem are part of the reality of people affected by this health issue. But where does acne come from?
The body produces on the skin’s surface an oily substance known as sebum, which is essential to keep skin hydrated. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands, which are located at the non-visible tip of hair follicles.
Sometimes, sebaceous glands produce too much sebum and cells obstruct the duct through which it is secreted on the skin’s surface. Clogged pores promote the development of bacteria, which cause inflammation and produce acne pimples.
Acne appears mostly on the face and neck, but also the shoulders, back and arms. There are many types of acne spots, from small, red pimples to very painful cysts.
What causes acne?
Acne mostly affects teenagers and usually disappears in adulthood. Boys usually suffer from acne more than girls, and the chances of having acne problems increase if the parents have had them. There are several causes of acne, notably:
hormonal variations in women (pregnancy, menstruation, etc.);
taking certain medications;
using greasy or oily cosmetic products;
close contact of skin with an object or clothing that can irritate it (backpack, baseball hat, etc.);
some types of work environments (exposure to frying oil or chemical products);
excessive skin cleansing and rubbing.
Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by a high-fat diet or bad hygiene, and it is absolutely not contagious.
Psychological consequences of acne
Acne does not affect everyone the same way. It can be mild and temporary, or severe and disfiguring. No matter its intensity, acne can have major consequences on a person’s mental health. These psychological consequences are, for example:
- social withdrawal;
- loss of self-esteem;
- loss of self-confidence;
- negative body image;