Why do I have acne?

“If you pinch, pop, or squeeze acne, the skin will take longer to heal and the risk of scarring increases,” warns the American Academy of Dermatology.

The specialists of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV) explain that the elemental lesion of acne is the comedo, which consists of a dilated follicle full of sebum. “This comedo can be open (black point) or closed (white point)”, they clarify.

The role of diet in the origin of acne remains highly controversial. According to several studies, it seems that dairy products and foods with a high glycemic load could be related to the appearance or persistence of this pathology.
When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, acne can appear. This occurs because the hair follicles are blocked by excess fat and dead cells, which leads to the generation of different types of lesions such as comedones and pustules.

American actress Cameron Díaz has spent many years of her life battling acne. In some cases it seems that it has a hereditary factor. Free Press Photo: EFE / Facundo Arrizabalaga

There are different factors that influence the appearance of acne, but the most prominent are hormones. “It is an indisputable fact that the disease appears in periods (such as the first months of life and adolescence) in which the sex hormones are activated. In disorders linked to these hormones, the presence of acne is also common, even in adulthood ”, point out the specialists of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV).

HORMONES AND SEBACEOUS GLANDS.

In this sense, they clarify that sebaceous secretion is a consequence of the action of hormones on the sebaceous glands. Thus, acne appears in areas where there is a greater concentration of these glands such as the face and chest.

Another aspect to consider is inheritance. The experts of the AEDV emphasize that it is something difficult to assess, since acne is a very common process. “However we can say that there is a predisposition to suffer severe forms of acne, so that if the parents have had severe acne, the children can also suffer”, they point out.

On the other hand, the AEDV states that, according to different studies, certain changes in the skin microbiome are involved in the appearance of acne.

The skin microbiome is made up of different species of microorganisms that live on our skin. When an imbalance occurs in this ecosystem, a skin pathology such as acne can appear.

The role of diet in the origin of acne remains highly controversial. According to the most recent studies, it seems that dairy products and foods with a high glycemic load could be related to the appearance or persistence of this pathology.

The elemental lesion of acne is the comedo, which consists of a dilated and sebum-filled follicle. Free Press Photo: provided

The American Academy of Dermatology explains that foods and beverages with a high glycemic load (chips, cakes, smoothies, etc.) cause the amount of sugar in the blood to rise quickly.

“A diet with a low glycemic load could reduce acne since this diet eliminates sudden spikes in blood sugar. These increases cause inflammation and cause more sebum to be produced on the skin. Both inflammation and excess sebum can cause acne ”, he details.

However, this entity highlights that, although these findings indicate that a diet with a low glycemic load would lead to fewer acne breakouts, “other studies have found no connections between a diet with a high glycemic load and acne. needs more research ”.

Something similar happens with milk. Some studies suggest that drinking milk may be linked to an increase in acne breakouts. It is not clear why milk would make acne worse.

One theory is that some hormones in milk could cause inflammation and this can cause pores to clog, leading to acne. However, more research is needed to confirm this.

But while more research is needed to see if certain foods can make acne worse, the American Academy of Dermatology offers some advice for those who suspect that diet is affecting their acne.

So, he recommends paying attention to breakouts and asking yourself the following questions: Are there any foods or drinks that seem to trigger an acne breakout or make the acne you already have worse? If there is something that seems to trigger an acne breakout, what happens if you stop taking that food or drink for a day, a week or a month?

FORMS AND TREATMENTS.

There are different forms of acne depending on the type of lesions that occur, although it is common for the same person to present several types of lesions at the same time.

The AEDV specialists explain that the basic acne lesion is the comedo, which consists of a dilated follicle full of sebum. “This comedo can be open (black point) or closed (white point)”, they clarify.

But, in addition, there are many other acne lesions such as papules, pustules and nodules.

When it comes to fighting acne, there are different treatments that vary depending on whether it is mild, moderate or severe acne.
Topical treatments, that is, those that are applied to the skin of the affected area, are used alone when acne is mild.

There are different factors that influence the appearance of acne, but the most prominent are hormones. Free Press Photo: EFE

“Medications should be used that act on the root causes of acne: hyperproduction of fat, hyperkeratosis (cause of follicular plugging) and associated infection”, say the experts of the AEDV.

Similarly, they state that there are many recommended products, but “to use them correctly and avoid side effects such as irritation, it is very important to follow the advice of the dermatologist.”

“In moderate and severe forms of acne or when topical treatment has not worked properly, systemic treatment can be used, that is, drugs that are taken orally. There are different alternatives: antibiotics, retinoids, contraceptives and probiotics ”, indicate the specialists.

As explained from the AEDV, “normally the antibiotics used to treat acne are derivatives of tetracycline. They are prescribed at low doses, but for a long time (two to three months) ”, they detail.

With regard to retinoids, “isotretinoin is undoubtedly very effective in treating forms of acne that have not responded to other treatments,” they point out.

However, they emphasize that retinoids “are not exempt from side effects, which are generally reversible, so treatment should always be done under medical supervision. In addition, they are teratogenic drugs, that is, they cause harm to the fetus, so pregnancy should be avoided during treatment and for up to six months afterwards ”, they warn.

On the other hand, contraceptives are indicated “in cases of women with hormonal alterations related to irregularities of the menstrual cycle”, point out the specialists of the Teknon Medical Center in Barcelona (Spain). Finally, the AEDV dermatologists explain that probiotics are used to control the skin microbiota (the microorganisms that live on our skin).

“They have been shown to have synergistic properties with anti-inflammatory effects when used in conjunction with oral antibiotics. The treatment should be maintained for 2 or 3 months ”, they express. But, in addition to complying with the treatment prescribed by the dermatologist, acne skin needs a series of specific care.

In this sense, the specialists of the American Academy of Dermatology advise to wash the skin twice a day or after sweating, and to do so by applying a mild cleanser with the fingertips. Afterwards, you have to rinse it off with warm water.

They also recommend shampooing your hair regularly. If it is fatty, daily. “Let your skin heal naturally. If you pinch, burst or squeeze the acne, the skin will take longer to recover and the risk of scarring increases ”, points out this entity.

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