Acne is an inherited and chronic disorder of the sebaceous glands
- It effects approximately 85% teenagers
- 25% with severe acne & leave permanent scarring
- 20% of adults have active acne
- Nearly half of all adult women experience acne
- Can appear or reappear from teens thru 50's
How acne forms
Acne is a build up of dead skin cells and increased amount of sebum that stick together and like a clogged drain in your sink. Normal pores shed about one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore. The acne-prone pore sheds up to five layers of dead skin cells per day and the body can’t keep up. This forms congestion under the skin which are non-inflamed acne lesions (blackheads and/or whiteheads; and if bacteria are present (bacteria feeds on the dead skin cells and oil), it will form inflamed pimples, pustules and/or cysts.
There are two main types of acne – non-inflamed acne and inflamed acne. Most people have a combination of the two.
What is Inflamed Acne?
As the oil and the dead skin cells build up, they put pressure on the cells surrounding the pore. With enough pressure, the sides of the pore rupture and the contents of the pore leak into the surrounding skin. Because this material contains a lot of P. acne bacteria, the surrounding skin now becomes infected/ inflamed , and will create a red bump that we know as a papule.
A pustule which is different from a papule only in that it contains white blood cells. When the immune system fights off the P. acnes infection, white blood cells, which are soldiers of the immune system — pile up, creating more pus and inflammation in the pore.
A nodule is a solid dome-shaped lesion that extends below the surface, deep into the layers of the skin. Scarring is common with nodules and can sometimes leave an impaction behind, which can flare again and again.
When a group of pustules cluster together under the skin, they form a cyst. An acne cyst can appear similar to a nodule, but when it is pus-filled, it can have a diameter of 5mm or more across. They are usually very painful and scarring is common with cysts.