How does puberty affect the skin's sebaceous glands?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
In people who are prone to acne, starting when they are approximately 7 to 8 years old, the overall size of the sebaceous gland increases and becomes lumpier in response to increased production of hormones called androgens. This process is accompanied by increased secretion of sebaceous oils, called sebum. The hormonal changes at puberty that follow lead to changes in both the sebaceous glands and the skin cells lining the hair follicle opening (pore). Also, there are factors that control how the sebaceous gland handles the hormone, which is why some people are more affected by hormones than others. This is where heredity plays a role. In acne, excess sebum production is mainly due to differences in the response of the pilosebaceous unit to the local environment, increased circulating androgens, or both.
100 Questions & Answers About Acne

More About this Book

100 Questions & Answers About Acne

100 Questions and Answers About Acne provides you with all the information you need to manage your complexion problems. Written by Dr. Doris J. Day, a world-class expert in the field, this clearly...

Continue Learning about Functions of Skin

How does sweat cool me?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
When sweat evaporates from the surface of your skin, it removes excess heat. To convert water fr...
More Answers
What does the stratum corneum do?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
The stratum corneum, or the skin barrier, acts as our first line of defense against the external env...
More Answers
What is the epidermis?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
The epidermis is the outer layer of the skin and consists of four sub-layers. The stratum corneum, t...
More Answers
What is the dermis?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
The dermis is the layer just below the epidermis of the skin. There are many elements that make up t...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.