What Acne Is

Acne is a very common problem among teenagers as well as adults. Many people who suffer from acne are very self-conscious about how they look. In addition, many people who suffer from breakouts try to cover their acne with hair and makeup. These types of "coverups" can contribute to making the problem worse.

Acne breakouts usually occur due to the clogging of skin pores and hair follicles. This prevents the natural secretion of oil, which is produced to keep skin moist and pliable. Often dead skin cells are the cause of the clogged pores. They accumulate on the surface of the skin and catch other substances like dust and dirt.

This accumulation can lead to a worse breakout due to secondary infection. Regular facial washing can help prevent pimple breakouts, although that may not be enough to completely get rid of acne.

Under normal circumstances, pores shed dead skin cells, and allow oil from the sebaceous glands under the skin to secrete oil onto the surface. Sometimes, the skin's cells are shed too fast and they clump together forming a plug. When oil from the sebaceous glands builds up inside the hair follicle, and mixes with the dead skin cells, bacteria is produced. The build up, oil, and the active bacteria cause inflammation of the skin. When the pore is no longer able to hold the trapped oil, cells, and bacteria, it breaks, and the contents are spread onto the surrounding tissue of skin.

Acne is categorized into two groups: inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Non-inflammatory acne refers to what people commonly know as blackheads and whiteheads. In the case of whiteheads, a pore gets clogged and becomes enclosed. Blackheads, on the other hand, are pores that are also clogged but remain open. The outer part of the bulge, which is exposed on the surface, darkens over time. Because of this, they are called blackheads. In some cases, however, the walls of the pores become broken. Thus, oil enters the pores along with bacteria causing the inflammation of the pore.

Acne is also known by common terms such as "pimples" and "zits". Acne refers to all kinds of skin problems characterized by bumps on the skin surface. Cases of acne range from non-inflammatory ones like blackheads and whiteheads which normally only affect the epidermis layer of the skin. More severe cases are inflammatory, especially in the cases of cysts and nodules. These reach deeper into the dermis layer. Inflammatory acne is characterized by swelling on the affected areas of the face.

Because the damage to the skin is very severe in these cases, scars caused by the acne usually take a very long time to disappear. If tissue damage results from acne, deep scars are left behind even after the skin completely heals. For this reason, it is advisable not to pick, squeeze, or pop pimples so that skin damage is minimized.

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Interesting Fact:

Scaring is common with acne because the facial ruptures can be relatively severe.

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