Thursday, March 31, 2011Cosmetics glossary

Acne

©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

Acne is a skin disease: it is an inflammation of the pilosebaceous follicle (which makes hair grow); this inflammation relapses quite often. Juvenile acne is by far the most frequent, occurring during adolescence, generally on the face only, but occasionally also on the cleavage or on the top of the back.

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How does it come?

Acne appears when three phenomenona are involved at the same time:

• Hyperkeratinization: epidermis cells multiply far quicker than usual, leading to a hard “plug” (an accretion of dead cells), which prevents the normal evacuation of sebum .
• Hyperseborrhea: sebaceous cells produce far too much sebum , which enlarges the hair canal through which sebum goes out.
• Bacteria proliferation (such as propionibacterium acnes or staphylococcus epidermis), which inflames the pilosebaceous follicle and gives papules, pustules and nodules.

Description

Ace comes with different forms of lesions:

• Micro cysts or closed blackheads
• Open blackheads
• Papules (small hard protuberances on the skin)
• Pustules (small inflamed elevations of skin containing pus)
• Nodules (small rounded wart like protuberances)

Further, some factors may worsen acne: sun (which increases the hard skin thickness, making it more difficult for sebum to go out), hormonal imbalance, unsuitable cosmetic products (too aggressive, Alcohol - or mineral oils -based), environment (pollution), stress or even heredity.

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