The 411 On Acne: Where Do Pimples Come From?
Acne is caused by a complex process that gradually turns your pores into unwanted pimples. Here’s a quick run-down of some common factors that can lead to acne, so you can better understand and combat breakouts before they happen.
The Triggering Build-Up
Normally, your skin sheds about one layer of dead cells every day. When your skin suffers from an acne breakout, it’s often as a result of too many dead skin cells accumulating. As dead cells build up, they block off your pores and lead to more problems and irritation. It is also important to understand that acne is hereditary and acne prone skin sheds 5 layers a day versus 1 in normal functioning skin.
When your pores are blocked off they become the perfect targets for bacteria. Germs are offered a sealed environment with ample access to the skin oils that they feed off of. The bacteria either breed until there is no more room in the clogged pore, or your body sends in a white blood cells to help fight them off. Either way, as the pressure increases in this environment your pore prepares to move on to the next stage.
Ready To Burst
If the sides of your pore burst under pressure, the bacteria can spread out to nearby skin cells and start infecting them. This is what makes the red bumps we call pimples. If your body has sent in white blood cells, they will create pus to try to stop the infection. This does not always work. If things get really out of hand, your pimple will keep growing until it is a cyst, or nodule. Try not to pick at your acne! Picking can lead to infection. Dirty hands, dirty tools, and even just a non-sterile space like your bathroom at home can lead to an infection. When you pop a pimple, you’re actually tearing at the skin, leaving it open to bacteria. The acne-coaching program at Essence of L Medi Spa teaches clients to ice their skin every day for 1-2 minutes to reduce redness and inflammation.
Understanding The Cause
In order for acne to form, your pore has to be clogged by dead skin and have acne-causing bacteria living inside of it. Your skin care routine should address both of these factors. Washing your face with cleanser and warm water is a pretty big step in the right direction, as it removes loose skin cells and helps kill surface bacteria. Using an exfoliating product with anti-bacterial properties can help people who are more prone to breakouts. These products help loosen and remove skin cells that are stuck and can penetrate deeper to extinguish bacteria. We also recommend a treatment routine twice a day and to always cleanse and hydrate after every workout! Use benzoyl peroxide, mandelic acid and retinol to treat acne, depending on what kind of acne it is. To treat inflamed (pustules) we use mandelic acid and benzoyl peroxide, or non-inflamed (no pus or redness) mandelic acid and retinol.
Written by Leah LaVanway