Research has shown that genetics also play a role in acne vulgaris. Children of parents that have from this condition are much more likely to experience it.

  • Acne vulgaris (AV) lesions are more commonly known as pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. These lesions occur when there is a change in the skin cell units known as pilosebeaceous units that contain sebaceous glands, a substance called sebum, and a hair follicle. When oil or dead skin cells build up and block these units, a breakout or lesion is likely to occur. The surface areas of the skin that contain the most amounts of sebaceous glands will be the areas where acne breakouts more. This includes the back, face, and upper portion of the chest. The most common causes of acne vulgaris are hormone fluctuations, excess sebum in the pilosebeaceous units, and, in some cases, genetics has been shown to play a role.
  • Hormone changes that cause an excess of oil in the skin are a leading cause of Acne and, thus, this condition is most commonly seen in puberty. In puberty, breakouts are a response to levels of the hormone testosterone that is found in both males and females in varying degrees. Women do secrete small amounts of testosterone at different points in their cycle and these types of lesions are common in women, even after puberty in the days before their menstrual period. As hormone changes become more stable over time, the acne vulgaris lesions will begin to diminish or decrease and will eventually disappear.
  • Another cause of AV is an excess of sebum. The sebaceous glands secrete this substance that is oily in nature and is composed of debris and fats. When cells in the glands burst, sebum is the result causing what appears as oily skin. The greasy look on unwashed hair is another example of excess sebum.
  • The fact that AV is caused by eating too much greasy food or chocolate will definitely aid in the production of oily skin. During periods where breakouts may be anticipated, avoiding these foods is suggested as a means of prevention.
  • Keeping skin oil free and clean on a daily basis is the best prevention for acne vulgaris, however, when hormone fluctuations are the leading cause, this is often the best control for severe breakouts. Skin should be washed at least twice daily with products that will not clog pores. Using Sun Block Cream and products with alpha hydroxy acid AHA and salicylic acid SA will help significantly in the treatment and control of acne vulgaris.

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