Acne and Inflammation

Why doesn’t acne start before puberty? The answer to that is hormones. Our bodies begin to produce testosterone when we hit puberty. Testosterone breaks down into a substance called dihyrotestosterone (DHT) that then stimulates the sebaceous gland to produce more oil (sebum). For a lot of reasons, this oil begins the process of retension hyperkeratosis which just means there is insufficient exfoliation within the lining of the follicle.

Pretend, for a moment, that we could look down into the follicle. There we would see dead skin cells that are not being carried away by the flow of oil(to the surface of the skin) from the sebaceous glands, due to the insufficient exfoliation. Instead, they remain stuck in the follicle where they form a sticky mass. Soon after, a bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes, begins to multiply very quickly. This creates inflammation within both the follicle and surrounding skin tissue. If new cells continue to be generated, but the dead ones are not exfoliating, the resulting condition is known as retention hyperkeratosis. This term simply means that the pore is retaining the new (stratum corneum) cellsresulting in a clogged pore.

The term used in dermatology for this plug is a comedo. When the comedo is first formed beneath the epidermis (outer layer of your skin) it is too small to be seen by the naked eye. At this point, it is referred to as a microcomedo. As it grows, it looks like a tiny white bump just below the surface of your skin. When you run a finger over your skin you can often feel these small, hard bumps. As they grow in size, they change from microcomedones into comedones and then into other larger lesion – pimples.

Physicians as well as scientists have always, erroneously, believed that there are only two types of acne lesions – categorized as either
non-inflammed or inflamed.

Even now, after being studied for 150 years, medical experts still do not believe that inflammation is at the basis of the so-called non-inflamed acne lesion. This will continue to ensure that they will never develop very effective therapies for this disease. Acne is a systemic inflammatory disease; to successfully prevent and treat it we have to develop strategies that are proven to reduce inflammation in the body. Reducing inflammation on a cellular level has three parts: diet, nutritional supplements and topical applications.

David writes about health and wellness issues on various websites. His website Acne Scar Removal explains the latest on quick, safe and effective acne treatments. He also shows readers how to avoid spending a fortune to remove acne scars.

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