Why does acne or pimples form and are there any treatments?
By: Nell S.
In the skin surface, we have thousands of openings called pores. These pores are the openings of follicles that are under the skin surface. Glands continuously pumps oil into the follicles and travels up and onto the skin. The follicle is also aligned with cells which produce a material called keratin that joins the oil that is flowing to the follicle. Bacteria can also be found in the follicle.
Every hour, these subjects goes out of the pore openings as long as they remain open. But unfortunately pores can become clogged, and thats when the acne process starts.
Cream and makeup can contribute to the blockage but the pores can also be clogged by a touching or rubbing hand. This pushes dead skin cells from the hands, down into the pores or cause a layer of skin to cover the pores. The oil and keratin that are being pumped can’t get up and pressure builds up. This causes the follicle to expand like a balloon filled with water. As the follicle gets larger, it might even cause holes into its own wall to which bacteria and other content can leak out. This later on attracts cells of inflammation that tries to fix the problem. The cells start to produce more keratin to shield the hole in the wall.
Unfortunately, this keratin adds more material in the process, leading to a bigger formation of a balloon. The follicle can burst causing much more inflammation. It is at this point that we see red bumps and pimples on the skin.
Areas with the most follicles are the face, upper back and chest, that is why its the common areas where people often get acne.
There is no actual “cure” for acne but there are some treatments that are effective in preventing new spots and scarring. Many anti-acne products claim to give you the dream skin, but they most often are a fraud. It’s very important to consult with your dermatologist before buying a product because it instead may worsen your situation.
There are oral treatments - medicine and there are also topical treatments- lotion, gels and cream. The treatments take time and work so you need to keep using them according to the instructions. It’s important to stick to the plan because a few months or weeks can result in an acne free face and that is what we’re all seeking for.