Essay on Disease Acne From the Integumentary System

Published: 2021/11/09
Number of words: 1123

The integumentary system is one of the largest systems in the body comprising of the skin that forms a primary barrier between the external and internal environment to prevent and protect the body from infection. The system comprises various other components such as the epidermis, dermis, hypodermis, and the various associated glands, the hair, and nails. The epidermis forms the outer part of the skin and is often tough forming the first line of defense. It comprises the stratified squamous epithelial cells that are self-replicative (Srivastava, Atul, Mrinalini Kumari, and Dinesh Prasad Gond. 193-212.). The hypodermis is also known as the subcutaneous tissue, is found between the dermis and organs beneath. It functions to provide insulation and cushion through the body fats. The glands are equally important components in the human skin that include the sweat glands. Also, the system acts as a temperature regulation mechanism to maintain homeostasis, fluid maintenance, production of vitamin D, and through the nerve impulses it serves to detect the different stimuli such as touch and pain.

Despite the multiple functions of the skin, there are many pathological conditions associated with the skin such as acne, atopic dermatitis, cellulitis, psoriasis, and cancer among others. Acne is the most common pathophysiology associated with overproduction of keratin in the hair follicles, increase production of sebum, and inflammation associated with cutibacterium (Katoh, Norito.1053-1101.)

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How acne relates to the integumentary system.

Acne often occurs on the skin following pathophysiology in one or more components of the skin. Acne often occurs in areas with high amounts of sebaceous glands and presents with different morphologies such as comedones referring to either closed or open acne, pustule, nodules, and papules having different appearances, sizes and occurring in almost all body parts. The most preferred sites are the face, forehead, upper back, and chest. The condition often occurs as a result of clogging the sebaceous gland with sebum. The sebum is a collection of naturally occurring skin oil and dead skin cells. Following the accumulation of sebum, the bacteria gets trapped in the sebum-producing pus and inducing inflammation as a body immune response to fight the infection. The accumulation of pus on the skin often leads to the formation of pimples (Shamloul, Gelan, and Khachemoune. 14862)

Causes of condition

The causes of acne are often variable with some occurrence as a result of skin trauma, change in diet, and stress factors. These factors can either be classified as genetic factors, hormonal changes, high humidity, and use of personal care products with increase greasy or oily substances. The hormonal changes causing acne are often mediated by androgen hormone production mostly during the onset of puberty. The production of androgens is associated with an increase in sebum production. Overproduction and accumulation of sebum cause the blockage of hair follicles, a combination of the hormone, surface bacteria on the skin, and fatty acids produced from the sebaceous gland causes acne. Fluctuation in the hormonal level especially in females during the menstrual cycle often triggers an increase in acne formation. Stress is associated with an increase in the hormonal level of cortisol which has a positive effect on the flaring of acne. Other acne can occur due to the use of certain medications as an adverse effect (Melnik, Bodo, and Wenchieh Chen, 1-33).

Signs of symptoms

The plug formed as a result of the accumulation of sebum is often white initially referred to as a whitehead, on exposure to air it turns black referred to as blackhead and lastly, acne as a result of bacterial infection such as staphylococcus leads to redness among light-skinned and hyperpigmentation in dark individuals. The patient may also present with pimples referred to as papules with pus and cystic lesions (Chularojanamontri, Leena, 36.)


Treatment of acne is aimed at controlling acne formation, preventing scarring, and reducing the size of the scares. The medication currently used in treatment aims at reducing the production of oil and inhibiting the process of inflammation as are the pathological factors to acne. The treatment of choice includes the use of retinoid and retinoid-like drugs. These drugs contain retinoic acid or tretinoin used for the treatment of a moderate form of acne. They include drugs such as tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene. The use of antibiotics acts to kill the bacteria present in the skin and reduce inflammation. Examples of such antibiotics include erythromycin and clindamycin that are often combined with benzoyl peroxide to reduce antibiotic resistance. Other medications in use include the use of dapsone and azelaic acid which have antibacterial abilities to eliminate skin bacteria. Anti-androgenic agents such as spironolactone are mostly Aldactone preferred to adolescent girls when other oral antibiotics are proved less effective. Other therapies available include the use of light therapy, extraction and drainage, chemical peel, and steroid injection used to manage acne (Aslam, pg. 91-101)

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The use of alternative medicines has also played a role in the treatment of acne such as the use of tea tree oil and brewer’s yeast which has been known to reduce acne formation. Lifestyle changes and home remedies are equally indicated in the management of acne such as washing the affected areas, avoiding the use of local irritants, avoiding skin pressure, and protecting from excessive sun.

Long term outcome/ prognosis

Acne has an excellent prognosis following treatment. The majority of the worst acne occurs during the teenage and individuals often recover. The goal of treatment is aimed at reducing scare formation. Severe acne not treated for a long period can lead to scarring of the tissues. Isotretinoin is the preferred treatment of acne with a good response to all types of acne.

In conclusion, acne often results from pathology in the skin due to the production and accumulation of excess sebum due to hormonal changes and other factors. The treatment is often to reduce inflammation and reduce sebum production to prevent scarring. The different modalities of treatment include the use of antibiotics, corticosteroids, and homemade therapy among others.

Work cited.

Aslam, Imran, Alan Fleischer, and Steve Feldman. “Emerging drugs for the treatment of acne.” Expert opinion on emerging drugs 20.1 (2015): 91-101.

Chularojanamontri, Leena, et al. “Moisturizers for acne: What are their constituents?.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology 7.5 (2014): 36.

Katoh, Norito, et al. “Clinical practice guidelines for the management of atopic dermatitis 2018.” The Journal of dermatology 46.12 (2019): 1053-1101.

Melnik, Bodo, and Wenchieh Chen. “Acne and Rosacea.” Braun-Falco´ s Dermatology (2020): 1-33.

Shamloul, Gelan, and Amor Khachemoune. “An updated review of the sebaceous gland and its role in health and diseases Part 2: Pathophysiological clinical disorders of sebaceous glands.” Dermatologic Therapy 34.2 (2021): e14862.

Srivastava, Atul, Mrinalini Kumari, and Dinesh Prasad Gond. “Basic overview of human physiology.” Smart Healthcare for Disease Diagnosis and Prevention (2020): 193-212.

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