Acne is one of the most problematic and common skin-care problems for individuals across the world—and it can be emotionally one of the most debilitating and embarrassing skin disorders to experience. Although most often associated with teenagers and the onset of puberty, the truth is that you can get acne at any age, which makes it even more frustrating.
So, what’s acne anyway? Here we identify this self-esteem-crushing problem and the various ways it can show up. Knowing the causes of acne can be your first step in learning just how to gain control so you will be able to get rid of breakouts and get back to having clear skin!
What Is Acne?
The majority of us are familiar with acne, even when we don’t know the specifics of what is causing it most of us can tell when we have acne and not some other skin problem. Acne’s textbook definition is that it is a skin disorder that happens when hair follicles (every pore you can see on your face is in fact part of a follicle) they can become plugged with dead skin cells and oil.
That blend of oil and cells allows the bacteria accountable for acne, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), to flourish inside the follicle instead of remaining on the skin’s surface, where it normally resides without causing much trouble. The bacteria feasts on the follicle’s contents, which starts a domino effect by producing inflammatory chemicals and enzymes. This technique attracts white blood cells to combat the bacteria, which leads to inflammation. Acne is first and foremost an inflammatory disorder, and it’s important to remember that when treating it!
Anything you certainly can do to lessen inflammation may help acne heal faster
—the reverse does work as well, making the inflammation worse is likely to make the acne worse! The later of the “precursor” stages in the development of acne happens once the wall of the plugged follicle reduces, spilling everything inside to nearby skin-leading to lesions or pimples.
Forms of Acne
Acne can show up on many regions of the human body, including the facial area, neck, chest, back, shoulders, and arms. Whilst the classic pustule form (if anything could be called classic!) is what lots of people typically consider when acne comes to mind, it can actually take several forms, as described below.
- Comedones: This type of acne occurs in two ways: whiteheads or blackheads. In line with the Mayo Clinic, comedones would be the non-inflammatory version of acne. When these lesions are closed at the skin’s surface, they’re flesh-colored, slightly raised bumps called whiteheads. When they’re open, the exposure to air allows the plugs in the hair follicle to oxidize, producing a dark or black spot on skin called a blackhead. That dark spot is not dirt showing beneath the surface of skin!
- Papules: They’re small, raised bumps that indicate inflammation is occurring in hair follicles.
- Pustules: Bigger than papules, these red, tender bumps have white pus at their tips and certainly are a sign of a more advanced, deeper inflammation.
- Nodules: One of the most painful kinds of acne, these bumps remain below the surface of the skin and are large and solid. They develop when buildup occurs deep within hair follicles which are severely clogged.
- Cysts: Painful, pus-filled lumps that form beneath the skin, and that present an elevated danger of scarring due to their depth and collagen-destroying potential.
The Bottom Line
So now that we have taken the guesswork out of what happens to your skin when affected by acne is, and what it will look like, what can you do to treat Acne? The good news is that there is a success of details about the various ways to treat acne and bring it under control.
We invite you to check out our articles that tackle every aspect of acne, including the factors that cause it, how to avoid it, myths that might be making your skin worse, prescription treatments, over-the-counter treatments, and even alternative treatments that could help when other available choices fail.
This is a battle that may be won—and the feeling of happiness regained once you finally have clear skin again is among the best ever!
The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Now! Book a free skin care analysis and treatment with Minna your local Kelowna Skincare specialist and esthetician and start looking your best.
Find out more about skin care and ways of improving your skin by contacting.
Facials By Minna
720 McClure Rd. Kelowna, BC.