Read about acne medical facts: what is the definition of acne, information about the causes, diet, and related acne diseases.

Definition: What is "Acne"?


Acne vulgaris or just acne is a common skin disease which is caused by changes on the pilosebaceous units (structures of the skin which consist of sebaceous gland & a hair follicle). The severe cases of acne are often inflamed but it can also show up as non-inflamed. Lesions are common & they are called spots, zits or pimples. This condition is common during the stage of puberty (affecting about 85% of teeners) while some cases carry on to adulthood. Most acne cases diminish & then disappear over time & this begins during the early twenties of an individual's life. There are no means of predicting when the disease will totally disappear because some cases continue even when the person is already in his thirties or forties. Acne is an altered form of the Greek word akun (or skin eruption). The vernacular name bakne or bacne is used often to specify acne that is found at the back of a person.


The exact cause of acne is still not known even today. What's certain is that it is hereditary. Some other factors include: family history (the genes can play a great factor in the appearance of the disease); hormonal activities (puberty or menstrual periods); stress (when a person experiences this, the body secretes additional hormones); agitated sebaceous glands; the buildup of dead skin cells; pores that are clogged with bacteria; scratching or skin irritation will enhance inflammation; anabolic steroid usage; using medications which contain halogens (chlorides, iodides, bromides), barbiturates, lithium, or androgens; the patient's exposure to some chemical compounds or drugs which could include narcotics.


It is important for someone with acne to have a balanced diet. A study that has been made recently showed that dairy products could induce acne. The specific products that were taken by the subjects included skimmed milk, sherbet, instant breakfast drinks, cream & cottage cheese. It is hypothetically proposed that the presence of bovine IGF-I & sex hormones in cow's milk have caused the condition to aggravate. Still, the observations remain hypothetical that is why the association of milk to acne is still not certain. Iodine is the primary content of seafood. This element is known to worsen acne but it should not be sufficient to make an outbreak. Still, people who have acne should avoid the over consumption of food that are rich in iodine. Vitamins A & E are good supplements to improve the condition of most patients. It has been observed that those who suffer from acne often have very low levels of both these vitamins.

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