Acne 101

Acne doesn't happen overnight. It slowly occurs over the course of several weeks, long before a breakout becomes visible on your face. There are four elements that contribute to acne.

1) A Clogged Pore.

Skin cells are in a constant state of renewal. As old cells die, they are sloughed off to reveal fresh skin every thirty days. Normal, healthy pores shed about one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore.  But if you are acne prone it can shed up to five layers of dead skin cells per day and the body just can’t keep up.  These dead cells mix with oil becoming sticky. Instead of sloughing off, they clog your pores, trapping oil and bacteria inside.


2) Hormones.  
Your androgen hormones stimulate the release of oil from the sebaceous glands. During puberty or times of emotional stress, androgen activity increases, causing greater oil production and more clogged pores. As oil continues to be produced, it is trapped behind the plug, collecting and building pressure inside the pore.


3) Bacteria Growth.

The p.acnes bacteria is a naturally occurring bacteria on the skin, but with a plentiful supply of oil it starts to feed and breed.


4) Inflammatory Response.

As the p.acnes bacteria digests the oil it starts to release inflammatory byproducts out of the follicle. Your body recognizes these byproducts as foreign and mounts an immune reaction. Red and white blood cells are sent to this"infection,"causing swelling, redness and inflammation. The end result is the throbbing, red, tender bump you know as a pimple.



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