What is acne and how can we treat it?

We’re all on that elusive quest to stop breakouts in their tracks.

Or unclog pores, erase dark marks, and keep our skin healthy and balanced.

Cutibacterium acnes naturally resides on our skin.

It is the reason behind many of those pesky breakouts.

So deciphering this troublesome bacteria, may just help keep them at bay.

What is acne?

Cutibacterium acne 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, the glycerol is metabolised, and the free fatty acids are released towards the surface of your skin.

These fatty acids are responsible for the PH value of the skin acid mantle, which creates your skins barrier function.

The problem is that free fatty acids have both a comedogenic and anti-inflammatory effect on your skin, especially if there are too many of them, an active oily skin for instance, is an indicator that the sebaceous glands are producing more sebums 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 pores of your skin.

What causes acne?

Acne is due to a combination of factors – the exact mechanisms behind acne are not fully understood.

  • genetics
  • hormones
  • acne bacteria
  • inflammatory mediators
  • occlusion of the hair follicles

Acne flares ups can be provoked

  • polycystic ovary disease
  • lack of internal essential fatty acids
  • drugs: including hormones, steroids anticonvulsants and more
  • occlusive cosmetics that block the pores
  • a diet high in dairy products and high glycaemic foods.
  • a build-up of dead skin cells and bacteria in the pores
  • lack of water and moisture in the epidermis – dehydration is a sign your skin may be oily.

Incorrect skin care products that may strip your skin, leading to an overproduction of oil – drying agents used on blemishes are an aggravating factor.

Benzoyl Peroxide is one such product that is often recommended for acne, can cause surface dryness, which is a vicious cycle, causing more oiliness on your skin. his is why we recommend using a spot treatment directly on the infected area only, such as RESQ anti-blemish complex

Sebaceous glands can also become blocked due to impaired cellular turnover; this is due to the use of comedogenic materials on your skin.

Should your skin have an overabundance of free fatty acids, then any make-up containing fatty acids will cause more comedones to appear, so getting the right balance on your skin is key.

What are the clinical features of acne?

Acne is often confined to your face, but it may involve neck, chest, and back.

It is characterised by:

  • inflamed pustules and papules
  • open and closed comedones – referred to as blackheads and whiteheads
  • In severe acne – nodules, and pseudocysts
  • Post-inflammatory pigmented scars
  • can also affect your mental state

We are all metabolically different, so what works for one may not work for the next.

It would help if you did your own research on your skin, and use an elimination process to get to the route of your acne problem.

This article does an excellent job of explaining what acne is.

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