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Acne, medically known as Acne Vulgaris, is a common skin disease that involves the oil glands at the base of hair follicles. Acne is not dangerous but can leave skin scars. 

It commonly occurs during puberty when the sebaceous (oil) glands come to life - the glands are stimulated by male hormones produced by the adrenal glands of both males and females.

Human skin has pores (tiny holes) which connect to oil glands located under the skin. The glands are connected to the pores via follicles - small canals. These glands produce Sebum, an oily liquid. The sebum carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin.

Spots form when these follicles get blocked, the Androgen hormone is increased in puberty resulting in an accumulation of oil under the skin as well as pressure building up along the hair follicle. The bacteria P Acnes which is present in our skin multiplies rapidly due to the increased pressure increased activity of cell turnover resulting in spots and pimples. It is the increased pressure in the follicle pushing up to the surface which can cause acne scaring. To improve the appearance of scars, Cosmex Clinic recommends Kelo-Cote, click here to find out more.

What causes Acne?

Some studies indicate that susceptibility to acne could be genetic.

Medications which contain androgen and lithium may cause acne.

Greasy cosmetics may cause acne in some susceptible people.

Hormone changes during pregnancy may cause acne to either develop for the first time, or to reoccur.

A diet rich in high glycaemic index foods and dairy products is now linked to acne, according to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. February 2013.

Treatment of Acne

There are two aspects to the treatment of acne:

  • Treatment of the active acne
  • Reduction of any scarring resulting from the active acne