P Acnes, bothersome breakouts

Is P acnes just a prevalent adolescent pang?

Or a life-long skin challenge?

Well it turns out it could be both.

Acne is mostly associated with hormonal teens.

Yet adults can also find themselves with acne symptoms.

Clinical studies have found, some 40 percent of the adult population between the age of 20 to 40, have been diagnosed with lower acne grade.

In order to understand this tricky little bacteria, we need to first understand it’s anatomy.


Oil in the skin is created by sebaceous or oil glands, found within our pores.

This type of environment contains triglycerides, oil rich fatty acids.

Now usually these fatty acids are our skin’s best friend, helping to maintain the PH value of our skins acid mantle.

To many fatty acids can be mistaken for foreign body’s within the sebaceous gland, triggering an anti-inflammatory reaction which excites the oil loving bacteria, creating inflammation.


As if that isn’t enough, the P acnes bacteria release a protein digesting enzyme known as proteases.

These enzymes penetrate the dermis the second layer of skin, which triggers an inflammatory response, within the skin causing acne breakouts.

The fatty acids also release a chemical messenger, this attracts a type of a white blood cell which releases an enzyme to breakdown the cell wall.


This is not the only factor that can cause inflammatory responses.

Excess keratinisation a hardening of the skins cells is also a major irritating factor of P acne, causing the sebaceous glands to become blocked.

This in turn prevents any oil from reaching the surface, thus trapping the acne bacteria within the glands.

This is why exfoliation is important, to help remove stubborn cells and boost cellular turnover.


The bacteria happily go about there business, converting fatty acids and creating an inflammatory response in the pore.

They just love that oil rich environment and the warmer and oilier it gets, the more active the bacteria becomes, which is what ultimately what causes breakouts and associated inflammation within the skin.


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