Acne Causes

Published 12/05/06


What is the difference between a blackhead and a whitehead? Do you know what casues acne? Watch this video to find out.


The pilosebaceous unit, or PSU of the skin consists of the sebaceous gland and the hair follicle. The sebaceous gland secretes an oily substance called sebum, which protects the hair and skin. Overproduction of sebum is related to the disease called acne, or commonly pimples. Sebum may collect excessively as a result of poor hygiene, genetic predisposition, or accelerated glandular activity, especially during adolescence. During an acne breakout, the pore of the hair follicle is plugged by a mixture of sebum and cells that line the hair follicle. The trapped sebum allows bacteria to grow in the plugged follicles. This forms the primary acne lesion called a comedo. are two types of comedo, whiteheads and blackheads. When the sebum and bacteria stay below the skin surface, a whitehead is formed. A blackhead occurs when the trapped sebum and bacteria partially open to the surface and turn black due to melanin, the skin's pigment. Commonly involved areas are the face, neck, chest, shoulders, and upper back. Treatment includes [inaudible 00:01:15], retinoids, antibiotics, hormone therapy, spironolactone for women, isotretinoin in severe cases.

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