SKIN CONCERN: ACNE

What causes acne is the same for everyone regardless of your gender, age, skin colour, or ethnicity.

The most important fact about acne is that it’s an inflammatory disorder and therefore almost everything you do to make it go away must reduce or eliminate inflammation.

There is a whole series of skin factors that create the perfect environment for acne. To be successful in treating acne you need to understand what interrupts or stops the sequence of events which lead to acne in the first place. This will allow you to create a successful anti-acne skin-care routine at any age.

There are six factors that contribute to the formation of blemishes:

  • Hormonal activity (primarily from male hormones).
  • Inflammation
  • Overproduction of oil by the sebaceous (oil) gland. Your oil glands are an important site for the formation of active androgens (male hormones) that control oil production.
  • Irregular or excessive shedding of dead skin cells, both on the surface of the skin and inside the pore.
  • Build-up of bacteria in the pore, leading to inflammation.
  • Sensitizing reactions to makeup, irritating skin-care ingredients, specific foods (rarely), allergies, or medicines.

How Blemishes Are Created

Blemishes are created when the hair follicles in the skin become blocked with dead skin cells and excess oil (know as sebum). People that are prone to acne tend to shed more dead skin cells per day and produce more oil than people with healthy pores.

Each hair follicle is connected to a sebaceous gland that lies beneath the surface of the skin and to a pore on the surface of the skin.

When things are going well the sebum leaves the pore and flows freely out onto the skins surface and keeps the skin moist and smooth.

However, when the oil gland produces an excessive amount of sebum which then mixes with the built up dead skin cells it forms a plug in the follicle creating either a white or blackhead.

The more red and inflamed spots known as papules, pustules, nodules or cysts are caused when the harmless bacteria that lives on the surface of the skin infects one of these blocked follicles and creates red and swollen bumps or lesions.