In medical terms, acne is better known as Acne Vulgaris. It is a disease of the skin which chiefly concerns the oil glands which are to be found at the base of hair follicles. It is most common in adolescents when these glands start functioning. The glands become active due to the stimulation received from the male hormones secreted by the adrenal glands of both the genders.
It is not a dangerous condition per se but can potentially scar the skin, a condition abhorred by those in the tumultuous adolescent phase. The oil or sebaceous glands are located beneath the skin and it is connected with the human skin through pores or tiny holes containing follicles or small canals. The function of the sebum or the oil produced by the gland is to carry dead skin cells to the skin’s surface. These follicles are susceptible to being blocked.
Pimples are usually found on the face, neck, shoulders, back and the chest in human beings. The skin cells, the oil-sebum and the hair clump together to form a plug. In time, the plug becomes infected due to the presence of bacteria which results in the swelling. The plug begins to break down and a pimple develops.
An interesting thing to note about acne is that it cannot be said for certain what is its cause. According to experts, the hormone androgen is the culprit which surges during puberty which in turn leads to the growth of skin glands resulting in excessive sebum. This sebum then breaks down the cellular wall of pores which enable bacterial growth.
According to some studies, there is also an element of genetic propensity. Medication with lithium and androgen may also lead to the condition. Greasy cosmetics are another culprit. Pregnancy-related hormonal changes may also result in acne.
Acne pimples may be of various types. These include: