What causes acne?

Acne is an inflammatory skin condition affecting the pilo-sebaceous follicle. Three related factors are responsible for acne: 

What are the various types of skin blemishes?

Acne has several types of lesions, often with increased seborrhoea (called hyperseborrhoea).

The condition lasts several years, with inflammatory flare-ups, as long as the retentional lesions (comedones) persist.

In rare cases, acne can affect newborns — due to the mother’s androgen hormones — or older infants. Acne is an adolescent dermatosis. It takes on a polymorphic aspect that combines the different types of lesions.
The condition generally begins around the ages of 12 to 14 years and affects the oiliest areas of the skin such as the face, and often the chest and back to a variable degree. Acne is caused by an imbalance in hormonal secretions during puberty.

In women, particularly after the age of 30, acne appears more on the lower face (jaw) and neck. There is often a hormonal component added to the traditional causes of acne.

Mother and daughter sitting and together
What is different about acne in women?

The factors that promote the appearance of acne in adulthood are:

Unlike an adolescent’s skin, the skin of an adult woman is less seborrhoeic, meaning that it produces less sebum.

Blemishes are mainly located on the lower face (chin, neck and lower jaw). They are chronic and recurring inflammatory (pimples) and comedonal (blackheads) lesions. To correct these skin problems, it is necessary to use appropriate treatments, which are not the same as those used for adolescent acne.

    Key points

    Problems with skin blemishes:

    • 50% of women over the age of 25 have problems with skin blemishes. 
    • 40% of these women did not have acne in adolescence.

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