Acne is quite straightforward in terms of what’s going on – too much oil and dead skin cells block a hair follicle, clogging it. Bacteria gets trapped inside the blocked hair follicle, causing a small infection in a hair follicle. This small infection becomes many small infections, which is what we know as acne.
The most common areas for acne to appear are the face, neck, chest, back and shoulders, simply because these areas have the most sebaceous (oil) glands.
Oils and the hair follicles
The oil glands in your skin are joined to your hair follicles. When these glands secrete oil to keep your hair and skin moisturised naturally, it is absorbed by the hair shaft, and is transferred onto your skin.
When too much oil is produced, it can build up in the hair follicle, along with dead skin cells that would normally be sloughed off. This makes a plug, trapping bacteria inside.
The pimple plugs: the whitehead, the blackhead and acne
A whitehead pimple is an infected, inflamed hair follicle (or pore) that has a membrane across the top (the side of the hair follicle) that prevents the oil and dead skin cells being exposed to air.
A blackhead pimple is created when the contents of the hair follicle is no longer covered by this membrane, and is exposed to air, turning it brown, like cut or peeled fruit might. (It’s science!)
Cysts can develop underneath the skin, which is known as cystic acne. Bacteria can spread across the skin, further inflaming and infecting the hair follicles.
Why is acne different from just having pimples?
Acne is just a bad case of inflamed, infected pimples, but it can be a long-lasting condition that you might be predisposed to for several reasons. These reasons include hormone levels that cause the oil glands to overproduce oil, dietary problems (like low-fat milk), medications, or stress.
It’s not just a matter of having ‘dirty’ skin or having a high-fat diet. Acne has deeper roots that start from the inside and work their way out.
We have a handful of useful solutions for acne problems, including when your acne is cleared and scarring remains. There is the Kleresca program, lasers and radiofrequency treatments, and topical creams and medications. Everyone is different, so come and talk to us to see what we can do for your acne.
Tired of acne?
We can help.