What causes acne?

What causes acne?

Dr. Sylvia Garnis-Jones

The sebaceous gland is the gland which is responsible for pimple problems. We all have bacteria on the surface of our skin. However, some of us are more prone to developing infections in the sebaceous gland. The bacteria enters the gland from the surface of the skin along the hair follicle. In the beginning, one would have only a little amount of irritation in the sebaceous gland and therefor get only small pimples. These are not usually deep and can be seen as tiny white heads or tiny red bumps directly on the surface of the skin. If the infection goes deeper, than one develops a much larger bump which looks on the surface as a red deep bump, which in many cases is painful and does not have a white head to it.

The structure of the skin


Who is at risk of developing pimples and why?

Almost all teenager experience pimples in some form. Statistically, however, it also effects people in the age group of the 20’s and 30’s. The peak, however, appears to be near the age of 14 in girls and 16 in boys.

It is the effect of the male hormone on the sebaceous gland that begins the whole process. Without these male hormones circulating in smaller amounts in women and in larger amounts in men, the adult sebaceous gland would not develop and the grease or sebum, which is produces, would not be produced and therefore pimples would not develop.

There are other factors, however, which determine who will develop pimples. As I mentioned before, the number one factor is the fact that hormones begin the stimulation of sebum production. The second change that occurs is that the hair follicle exit becomes plugged. This is a hereditary problem and therefore people who have relatives who have had pimples are at higher risk. For some reason, the hair follicle is not able to get rid of the oil or grease which is produced by the sebaceous gland and blocks up the exit point of the hair. Then one sees an accumulation of bacteria in the canal leading to the gland and this is how one gets infected by normally harmless superficial bacteria. Large amounts of these tiny organisms then collect in the canal and the inflammation begins.

If you live and Maple Ridge and want to learn more about acne, contact us today. Dermatologie Rejuvenation Clinic is located in downtown Maple Ridge, BC.