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Learn About The Types Of Acne: What Kinds Exist And Why?

The key to overcoming any challenge is to understand it. However, when it comes to acne there is a lot of misunderstandings floating around. This makes dealing with acne a lot harder than it needs to be. So what’s the real deal? Here’s a quick rundown on the root cause of acne, what kinds of acne exist, and how you can keep your face clear of nasty breakouts.

The Real Cause Of Acne

Lots of people will tell you that milk, birth control, or certain types of makeup will “cause” acne. All of these factors can leave you with zits on your face, but none of these can cause acne on their own. Instead, they will simply trigger your already acne-prone skin to break out.

The real cause of acne is a genetic condition that changes how your skin sheds dead cells — specifically cells inside your pores. Your skin normally sheds about one layer of skin every day, including skin from the inside of your pores. In order to keep your pores clear, your body releases oil and sweat to simply flush out the dead cells.

People who are prone to acne shed significantly more skin: about five times as much. This makes it a lot harder for the normal pore-clearing mechanism to function. There are simply too many cells! Instead of pushing them out, the oil and sweat act as a glue that causes everything to stick together.

What you’re left with is a clogged pore, sometimes called a microcomedone. Instead of being clear and open to the air, debris fuse together to create a plug of sweat, oil, and dead skin cells. It’s not a pimple yet, but if it doesn’t clear up, it will become one over time.

The Two Types Of Acne

A clogged pore turns into acne one of two ways. It either becomes inflamed when bacteria get trapped under the microcomedone, or it stays free of bacteria and turns into a non-inflamed lesion. In both cases, the root cause is the same: your pores were clogged with an excess amount of dead skin cells.

The closed environment of a clogged pore is the perfect environment for bacteria. They have a food source (your skin oil), it is just the right temperature, and the clog prevents you from getting to them with products. Your body will try to fight off any bacteria by sending white blood cells, which take the form of pus. Meanwhile, the bacteria will cause the walls of your pore and the surrounding skin to become inflamed. This results in a “whitehead” pimple, sometimes called a pustule.

Blackheads are much simpler. If there is no bacterial activity, the “head” of the plug simply turns black when it’s exposed to the air. This is because your skin oil oxidizes and becomes discoloured in the same way a banana, or avocado turns black as it ripens.

When Do People Get Acne?

While the root cause of acne is genetic, the disorder isn’t always “active.” Instead, it’s triggered by hormones, dietary triggers, stress, and other factors. In men, changing hormones tend to cause acne to flare up after puberty and die out in early adulthood. This means that you don’t see very many men in their 30’s with visible acne.

In women, hormones are very different. Women will often start to get acne in their early 20’s and endure the condition until their 40’s. Since women have hormonal shifts every 7 to 10 years, there can be some pretty big changes in a woman’s acne at any time in her life.

Foods That Trigger Acne

One big food to avoid is iodine. Iodine doesn’t have very many natural sources these days. Since it is necessary for healthy thyroid function, it is added to most types of salt. This means that in order to avoid dietary iodine you will have to avoid pretty much all food that you don’t cook yourself. Iodine is high in seaweed, kelp, processed foods, fast foods, and salty snacks. Foods that are high in androgen activity including animal milk, and dairy products can be big acne triggers as well. Dairy as a whole now of days are loaded with hormones, steroids, and antibiotics which can disturb your hormones and has an effect on your stress levels. When foods affect our androgen levels, it can create a disturbance in the body and cause our bodies to produce more oil. More oil means more cellular debris clogging your pores which can result in more breakouts!

Birth Control and Acne

Hormones are one of the main triggers that can cause you to break out. Talk to your doctor if your birth control pill is having a bad effect on your skin. There are multiple options available that interact with your body’s hormones differently. Some birth controls are high in estrogen, and some are low in estrogen, but high in androgen. If you have acne prone skin, look for a birth control that is high in estrogen and and low in androgen activity.

A Helping Hand

Acne can be tricky, but you don’t need to fight it alone. Essence of L Medi Spa and Laser Clinic was founded to give people like you the help and guidance they need to keep their acne clear and under control. Essence of L’s “Clear Skin Program” offers personalized programs that are designed for your unique skin issues. The unique combination of cutting-edge technology and individual attention boasts a clearance rate of up to 95% after four months. In other words, you could be nearly acne-free at the beginning of next season!

Written by Leah LaVanway