Do not underestimate the damaging effects of acne breakouts. It does not only destroy your skin, it also makes you feel less than perfect and that can affect your overall self-confidence.
But these breakouts, admittedly, are just so hard to avoid. For others, it is more difficult because of the type of skin that they have. Acne is a result of excess oil production in the skin. It usually starts to happen weeks before the breakout is evident. To understand how to treat your acne problem, you need to know how your skin operates.
Our pore or follicle is a duct in our skin. At the bottom is a hair attached to the sebum (oil) producing sebaceous gland. The sebum usually rises to the surface and that is what keeps our skin moist. If there is too much of this, it hardens and become whiteheads or blackheads.
While this sebum is being produced, our skin also goes through a consistent cell renewal process. This causes dead skin cells to be shed to make way for new and healthier cells. This oftentimes gets mixed up with the sebum produced by the skin.
Now how does acne happen?
Our follicles contain bacteria. If the pore is not blocked by too much oil and dead skin cells, oxygen can get inside and that keeps the bacteria from thriving and causing all sorts of problems. But if your pores are blocked, then bacteria can grow.
Those who have acne-prone skin usually have the following:
- Sebaceous glands that produce too much oil that becomes too sticky and clumps together. This keeps the oil from flowing freely through the skin’s pores.
- Dead skin cells are accumulating and building up inside the follicles.
- The clumped oil and dead skin cells mix together and block the oxygen from freely getting inside the follicle.
- Bacteria thrives and triggers an infection.
- If you fail to do something about this, blemishes can happen. As the bacteria continue to multiply, this can irritate the follicles and oil glands. This can rupture and cause redness and inflammation – the start of an acne breakout.
When the body’s immune system recognizes the infection, it will start the natural healing process that causes the blood to rush to the ruptured walls of the follicle. The blemish becomes a red painful bump (usually without pus).
Once the white blood cells die after killing the bacteria, it accumulates in the follicle and it forms the pus in the acne. That is how acne breakouts happen.
So what can you do to keep this from happening?
First of all, you need to make sure that oil will flow freely through the follicle. Although there is nothing that you can do with the shedding of dead skin cells (it is a necessity), you have to make sure it will shed in a consistent manner. Finally, you need to ensure that your pores are not blocked so oxygen can come in to keep bacteria from multiplying.
To make this possible, you need to exfoliate, hydrate and clear your clogged pores. The more acne-prone the skin, the more frequently you have to do this.