Genetics and acne
Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:03 PM
Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:06 PM
Mother - late 40's and her acne is getting progressively worse as she gets older.
Posted 06 July 2008 - 05:10 PM
Posted 07 July 2008 - 12:00 AM
like most diseases with a genetic component, your family history doesn't guarantee what will happen to you, but it indicates what you are more susceptible to. in the case of acne, if your parents had it, you will probably have the skin conditions that make you vulnerable to outbreaks, but you need specific triggers to actually cause the outbreaks. these triggers can build upon one another, so you might have acne because a variety of factors have pushed your skin over the limit. treating it requires that you resolve all the triggers and perhaps get medical treatment for the biological conditions which you inherited, such as excess oiliness or abnormal skin cell function.
if there really has been an increase in the prevalence of acne in western society in recent generations, then we need to ask ourselves what is different. we know that life is stressful and that we are exposed to chemicals and processed foods. however, our parents were exposed to these things as well. the modern era of chemical engineering began in the 1940s.
in my family, my father had acne, but not as bad as mine. what is different between his situation and mine? i eat healthier, exercise more, and probably live a cleaner and less stressful life, so the difference is probably not to be found in there.
here's my opinion on what might be responsible:
the thing that has changed the most in the past 50 years is the intensity of our awareness of acne, and the belief that we should take aggressive action to stop it. i believe that most of my outbreaks were caused by my relentless meddling with my skin, which i did because there are so many products available to use against acne, and there are so many images and messages in the media promoting the idea of flawless skin that it is hard to accept one's own skin with minor imperfections. the result is over-aggressive treatment, such as picking and popping, which irritates the skin and leads it to break out further.
could the explanation be that simple?
if you watch "american graffiti," a 1970s movie set in the 50s, there's a scene in which a teenage ron howard is messing with a zit in a bathroom. the whole attitude toward acne was pretty nonchalant, and the way he dealt with it was simple. now, i look at people's regimens posted on the site, and i see lists of daily regimens extending half a page. that's where i see the difference between our parents' generation and our own.
the relentless prodding of the skin and application of foreign substances, whether natural or man-made, takes one's skin further and further from a normal balance. if you're applying ten things to your face, that means you're rubbing your face at least ten times a day. that kind of irritation has an effect on the tiny pores and follicles inside of your skin, and it can trigger future outbreaks. think about it: you're applying random pressure and mild trauma to these tiny structures that have to keep moving material through tiny pores in order to function. if you rub, scrub, or pick at your skin, you can easily block or damage these structures and trigger a build up that will become inflamed and manifest itself as acne.
my current remission of acne has come at a time when i touch my face twice a day--to apply a topical medication my dermatologist prescribed and then to apply moisturizer. i don't even wash my face. it's definitely greasier and flakier and rougher in texture than it was when i was doing a regimen of washing twice a day with cetaphil and applying benzoyl peroxide twice a day. however, it is no longer red, and it is no longer breaking out. it's just skin now, with some fading spots. the less i think about it, the less i do anything to it, the better it seems to get.
so what i'm saying is that remission can come with the right medication for your particular condition, but it also needs a reduction in irritation, and the willingness to let your skin take care of itself. eating well, avoiding chemicals and hormones, and all that can help because those can probably trigger some of our breakouts, but i believe the biggest triggers are our own hands.
Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:40 PM
Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:45 PM
His brother also had acne (i think severe from what I'm hearing) so, yeah, genes play a role.
Hollistic approach has definately helped me, but ... I'm prone to it.
Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:11 PM
There is another study from the early '00 on European heritage subjects; same conclusion, I don't have the link handy. That study concluded it's not a recessive trait, but a dominant one, albeit not with a straightforward pattern.
Also not ALL acne can be traced back to genetics (however a large majority can).
Posted 09 July 2008 - 04:56 PM
Both my grandmas had bad acne as adolescents, though it didn't persist into adulthood for either of them.
I'm 27, and I've had acne for 15 years. I have no siblings, but almost all my cousins on both sides have gorgeous, perfect skin. I believe it has a strong genetic component, but they must be recessive genes. And I definitely got unlucky with them!
Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:18 PM
yet when I hear of my relatives older than my parents like grandparents and great grandparents it sounds like they didn't really have many skin problems..
Posted 16 July 2008 - 11:35 PM
Posted 17 July 2008 - 01:12 AM
Posted 26 July 2008 - 05:01 PM
Posted 27 July 2008 - 01:33 PM
Posted 27 July 2008 - 04:59 PM
my brother got the odd papule here and there and he is 16
i got the odd papule here and there whilst i was younger, and their were only ever 1 at a time.
Posted 20 August 2008 - 08:20 PM
My Dad: Moderate bacne, not too many scars....but up close you can see them.
Me: I have bad scaring on my back and a little on the face.
Posted 21 August 2008 - 01:00 AM
Posted 23 August 2008 - 09:05 PM
Posted 26 August 2008 - 11:31 PM
Acne probably has a variety of factors that cause it. I think in my case, it could be credited to genes, because my acne also has mostly stopped at the same time that it did for my father.
Its probably a different other factors. Maybe you have the gene, but some environmental trigger just activates it or something.
I think like pretty much everything in biology, its probably a combination of genes and environment and how they affect one another.
Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:08 PM
my three brother's suffered with acne too but it gradually faded and it looked tolerable as they grow up.. but then i think the acne gene is really in my makeup! im the only girl among my siblings and i am plagued with acne as soon as puberty hits me. *sobs*
Posted 11 September 2008 - 04:04 PM
From the Archives of Dermatology, December 2002 (Volume 138, Number 12) researchers found that:
"Acne vulgaris is virtually nonexistent in 2 nonwesternized populations: the Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea and the Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay. Of 1200 Kitavan subjects (including 300 aged 15-25 years) and 115 Ache subjects (including 15 aged 15-25 years), no active cases of acne were observed over an 843-day period. Both Kitavans and Ache hunter-gatherers have in common a relative lack of Western influence, subsisting on low-fat and low-glycemic-load diets (eg, fruit, vegetables, fish, wild game)."
You see in this group of people, even these young teenagers from age 15 didn't have a single case of acne. Now isn't this the time period where most people in the Western world are supposed to get acne?
Okay this describes how their diet is healthy, but it doesn't explain genetic's influence on acne.
So let's observe other ethnicities from around the world who incorporated Western foods into their diet.
Here's a comment from the same study:
"Inuit Eskimo population was devoid of acne when following traditional living and eating habits, but developed acne prevalence comparable to Western societies when adapting to a Western lifestyle. Others have observed a similar transition in nonwesternized societies such as the Peruvian Indians and Bantu of South Africa."
You see, we could've explained that the Inuit Eskimos did not have acne because of their "clear skin genetics" and they were completely devoid of acne at one point in time. But after incorporating Western foods, acne appeared. Same goes for the Peruvian Indians, Bantu of South Africa, and even the Japanese (not included in this particular study)
That's why I think genetics and acne is way over-rated and greatly exaggerated. My dad has serious acne when he was a teenager and even sprouts a few pimples no and then in his late 50's. I had moderate acne also...but when I kept a strict diet, following supplementation my acne almost completely disappeared.
I don't even use any more of those useless benzoyl peroxide/salicylic acid washes anymore and never take antibiotics or drugs because acne always reappears no matter what when I use these treatments. BUT now that I eat a low GI, healthy diet along with supplementation, I almost always have clear skin.
Oh and if you want to look at that study, here's the link (you gotta sign up though):
The study in detail...
i wonder if anyone has ever considered the social factors as far as how often people get depressed or anxious and if there were any emotional correlations to the onset of acne. Long term emotional stress is said to effect hair growth, why couldnt the same be true for skin problems.
As far as my understanding, tribes are really close knit socially, i mean the have lots of rituals and dances that keep them together as a unit, people in industrialized society dont really have tribes, we kind of hate each other there is alot of crime and violence here, although this isnt based on the best direct observations, it just seems this way to me. the social order of a tribe and that of america are so different, i just think stress should be something to observe.