Acne vulgaris is the most common skin disease. It is a disease of the pilosebaceous unit characterized by the stimulation of excessive sebum production, excessive keratinocyte production, and bacterial proliferation within the follicle. Acne involves both the dermis and epidermis.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common dermatological problem in the United States. It affects anywhere between 40 and 50 million people, and nearly 85 percent of all people will experience some acne problems during their lifetime. This makes acne the most common skin disease.
The etiology of acne is multifactorial. The main contributing factors are:
- Genetics – Acne is known to have a genetic connection. Patients with a genetic susceptibility will show a heightened rate of the development of over-production of keratinization and sebum within the pores.
- Hormones – Testosterone and androgenic hormones are the main hormonal acne triggers.
- Sebum over-production – Acne most commonly appears on the face, chest, back and shoulders as these parts contain the highest number of sebaceous glands. These glands are highly responsive to hormonal influences, and will hyper-secrete oils when stimulated.
- Hyper-keratinization within the pores – the term ‘retention hyperkeratosis’ was coined by renowned dermatologist Dr. Albert Kligman. It refers to the abnormally rapid rate at which the pore lining keratinocytes proliferate. These cells are mainly responsible for the formation of the hardened plug that develops within the pores.
- Stress – stress releases ACTH and androgens from the adrenal glands. These stimulate the sebaceous glands. Males are less affected than females due to the fact their naturally higher levels of circulating androgens decreases their sensitivity to adrenal surges.
- Propionibacterium acnes bacteria – usually abbreviated as p. acnes bacteria, reside deep within the skin’s pores. This anaerobic gram positive bacterium thrives in an oxygen-starved environment. It digests and liquefies the triglycerides in sebum, and produces propionic acid, enzymes and by-products that result in inflammation.
- Numerous other contributing factors – Caffeine, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, excessive sunlight, friction, picking of acne, acnegenic cosmetic ingredients, halogen chemicals, industrial oils, iodides in food and supplements, corticosteroids creams.
Achieving clear, youthful and luminous skin is one that most acne (and anti aging) patients would like to achieve. The ability to diagnose and make recommendations for acne sufferers is extremely rewarding.
The affliction of acne is one that spans a wide age group, and is common to both sexes. It is universally widespread.
Treatments that are focused on producing results as safely and as quickly as possible are highly sought after by patients. Our program provides you with the tools, devices and products to do just that.
With the right knowledge on acne, you can be on their way to intelligently educating patients on:
• Treatments to help clear up acne
• Treatments to help clear up skin discolorations
• The underlying causes of acne
• The most appropriate products to use for their skin type
• Treatment options available to them to achieve a clear, youthful, luminous, celebrity-worthy complexion.