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Acne Disorders :: What is Sebum :: Sebum Disorders

Sebum Disorders, Disasters of the Skin

Best Acne Treatments

One of the most common sebum disorders that we know is acne. This problem attacks our youth around the world, and it seems that very few are exempt during puberty. But there are other sebum and sabaceous disorders that are lesser known. Four that come to mind are acne, rosacea, perioral dermatitis and sebaceous cysts.

What is Sebum?

Sebum is secreted by the sabaceous glands and is an oily substance. Sebum is really the skins natural moisturizer. The main purpose is to waterproof the skin and hair and try to protect it from drying out.

The sabaceous glands lie just below the skin's surface. As we know they produce sebum. These glands are found within the hair follicles and are called sabaceous follicles. The follicles open to the skin through pores.

During puberty, androgens (male hormones) is at an increased level and cause the glands to produce to much sebum. When this excess sebum combines with dead skin cells, a hard plug is formed (comedo) that will block the pores. There are two types of comedones, they are known as whiteheads and blackheads.
Sebum Disorders

sebum disorders

Acne and keratosis pilaris are the most common and can be characterized by people having pimples, zits, blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, scars and more. They can present themselves as tiny, hard bumps on the skin. They can be found on the face, back and chest. This happens when the pores of the skin become clogged with oil, dead skin cells and nasty bacteria. Acne vulgaris is the most common skin disease. Typically this can be treated by a dermatologist with topical or even oral treatments.

Epidermal or Sabaceous Cyst

When one of the sabaceous glands become blocked a sabaceous cyst is the result. This is a sac just beneath the outer layer of the skin that can become filled with a greasy white material. They can appear on the scalp, ears, face, back or even the scrotum. They occur because of plugged ducts right at the hair shaft.

What happens is it fills with sebum and become infected. Most times they don't require any treatment, but sometimes they may have to be removed with surgery when they become painful and large.

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a condition that is similiar to acne. It affects the elderly and the middle aged. It is an enlargement of the sabaceous glands and rarely will they develop a benign tumor or even cancer.

Mites of the genus Demodex (eyelash mites) will feed on sebum. They take up home in the the sabaceous glands. Usually there are no symptoms that are associated with Demodex. It will cause itching, inflammation or even hair loss. This condition is known as the mange in animals. Adults are more likely than children to be carrying Demodex mites.

Sometimes acne scars can occur from some of these sebum disorders. Acne scarring happens when new skin cells are laid down that are replacing damaged skin cells.

Acne, cysts, mites and rosacea are diseases associated with sebum disorders. Try to keep your face clean and don't touch the affected areas with your hands. This will help to prevent the spread of the problem. Check other natural acne treatments for more information on how to prevent sebum disorders.

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