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ACNE

WHAT IS ACNE?


Acne – The break-out of little monsters that lurk under our skin, screaming for our attention (and more embarrassingly, the attention of those around us). They itch and burn the hell out of us, enticing us to scrape the little devils away. Restrain and resist that temptation because if you don’t, you will fall into a greater skin. By doing so, you will unwittingly assist in their proliferation – the emergence of new crops of acne.

How Acne is Formed

1. Cross section of the skin in normal conditions.


2. Excessive oil production causes blockage at the opening of the hair follicle.


3. Skin becomes sore and swollen due to bacteria infections.


Blackhead

A comedone formed when the opening of the pore (or hair follicle) is wider than normal. Sebum and trapped dead skin cells react with the air where oxidation of melanin take place, resulting in dark coloration.




Whitehead

A comedone formed from when the pore is not open to the air, but is clogged with sebum and dead skin.





Pimple

Occurs when the walls of the pore are damaged, thus allowing bacteria to spread into the skin.





Acne Cyst

Infections that are larger than pimples due to clogged pores that extend deep into the skin.



Blackhead Whitehead Pimple Acne Cyst What is Acne

UNDERSTANDING ACNE


Acne is not purely a teenage predicament, 20 to 40% of the adults do encounter problems with acne. In fact, some people are only being paid the first visit in their 40s!  


The problems of acne stems from many reasons, which include an overactive sebaceous gland, genetic factors, or lifestyle factors such as stress, excessive dead skin, damage to the skin caused by scratching, and clogging agents trapped on the skin when cosmetics used are not totally cleansed. Acne may also occur as premenstrual flares or due to certain medications such as strong steroid creams.



HOW ACNE IS FORMED?

Basically, acne is formed by a collection of sebum (oil), bacteria and dead cells trapped in the lining of the hair follicle (skin pore). Normally the lining of the hair follicle sheds a layer of dead skin cells at regular intervals. Secretions from the sebaceous gland in the skin push the dead skin cells to the surface. When excessive oil is being produced however, the dead cells will clump together, forming a block at the opening of the hair follicle. When bacteria, which naturally occurs within the hair follicle, starts to break down the material accumulated within the clogged pore, irritating fatty acids are produced. This will cause pressure to build up within the pore, and the pore will be swollen. Redness and inflammation also occur in response to the infection.



DIFFERENT FORMS OF ACNE


It was a common misconception that acne is simply a swollen and reddish postulate. In fact, acne manifest in few different forms depending on the condition at the skin pore. The diagram below shows different forms of acne.