P Acnes, understanding what is acne and the cause

The correct name for P.Acne is Propionibacterium.

It’s a bacteria that resides on the skin, close to the sebaceous ducts, it is one of the main causes of Acne.

What is Acne?

The P.acnes bacterium naturally produces an enzyme known as lipases, this enzyme converts triglyceride oil into free fatty acids and glycerol.

As these triglycerides move out of the follicle, towards the surface of the skin, the glycerol is metabolised and the free fatty acids are released.

It is these fatty acids that are responsible for the PH value of the skins acid mantle, which creates the skins barrier function.

The problem is that free fatty acids have both a comedogenic and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin, especially if there are too many of them, an active oily skin for instance, is an indicator that more sebum is being produced by the sebaceous glands then is normal.

Should this be the case, it would indicate that a higher than normal amount of free fatty acids are being metabolised within the skins pores.

Blocked sebaceous glands can lead to acne

There are a number of other reasons, why the sebaceous glands become blocked;

  • Impaired oil secretion
  • A build up of dead skin cells
  • Lack of water and moisture in the epidermis
  • Drying agents used on blemishes are another aggravating factor, Benzyl Peroxide is one such product that is often recommended for acne, yet it can cause surface dryness, we recommend using this as a spot treatment only
  • Sebaceous glands can also become blocked due to impaired cellular turnover, due to the use of comedogenic materials on the skin. Should an oily skin have an overabundance of free fatty acids, then any make-up that also contains fatty acids, will cause more comedones to appear

All of these substances are a major cause of Acne and congestion in skin related problems.

As I always state, each of us is metabolically different, so what works for one may not work for the next. You need to do your own research on your skin, and use an elimination process, so that you get to the route of your acne problem.

This article taken from the website science of acne, does a really good job of explaining what is acne.

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