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What is Acne?

Anyone that has skin . . . has had, experienced, or has a concern about or relating to ACNE. We'll be honest acne can be a loaded topic given there is an array of things that can trigger/cause acne, various types, different treatments, and more. So, let's get into identifying what it is NOT . . .

Acne is NOT a skin type. Yes, people with oily skin type are more prone to acne, but just because you have oily skin does not mean you will automatically have acne. Due to acne's nature, anyone and any skin type can experience/have acne in some capacity. Make sense?

Acne is a chronic inflammatory condition of the sebaceous (oil) glands. Chronic inflammation of these glands can result in excess oil retention + dead skin cell build-up in the follicle. Build-up can result in an overgrowth of P.acne bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes). A bacteria that naturally lives on the skin in small amounts.

Common forms of acne are known as acne simplex or acne vulgaris (teenage acne). Acne can range from mild to disfiguring cystic acne. In the professional realm, we characterize and classify acne by "grades." Ranging from Grade I (minor) to Grade IV (Cystic Acne). We'll touch on this more in a little bit. 

We characterize acne by comedones (blackheads, whiteheads) and blemishes. It is caused or triggered by many factors: 

However, we cannot limit acne triggers to just the list above. Other factors that can cause/contribute to acne:

  • Sheets/Pillowcases
  • Hats/Head Garments
  • Cellphones
  • Work Environment
  • Overtreated Skin

As you can see, there are many intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) factors that can contribute to and cause acne. We've linked our ACNE UNCUT: Hormonal + Adult Acne and ACNE UNCUT: Products for Acne-Prone Skin.

Now that you have a very intro level to what acne is - let's rewind a little and break it down more.

Bacteria cause acne. Yes? Correct! We mentioned briefly mentioned P. acne and how it causes acne resulting in blemishes, comedones, etc. What you need to know about this particular bacteria is it is anaerobic (yes, we're sending you back to 9th-grade biology!). If we can help you to understand acne at the cellular level, you'll better be able to speak your skin's language. 

Anaerobic can be broken down into its root words. A-, in its Latin root, means withoutand aerobic means oxygen. Therefore, P.acne cannot live in the presence of oxygen. It thrives in an environment where NO OXYGEN is present; hence, people with oily skin are more prone to breakouts but not the only ones to experience them. Therefore, I cannot stress enough the importance of cleansing, exfoliating, and maintaining a routine that helps reduce excess dirt, oils, and debris from clogging the follicle/ pore.

When it's clogged, oxygen cannot freely flow throughout the follicle, which helps control the growth of P.acne. Therefore, increasing your chances of a breakout. 

Now let's move forward! We've identified the bacteria that can cause acne. But, how does this or how can it present itself? Great question! Acne can come in the form of a:

  • Whitehead
  • Blackhead
  • Papule
  • Pustule
  • Nodule
  • Cyst

It comes in a handful of forms, and we've taken the time to devote an entire blog to talking about just that! We'll walk you through the different acne forms and how we classify them. Tap-In to ACNE UNCUT: Different Forms of Acne

Need a better example? Ok. I have you covered . . . think of acne as a snowball effect. If your genetically included to develop acne - resulting in congested follicles impacted with sebum, dirt, oil debris, dead skin, etc

+ using products, not for your skin type / not using products as recommended

+ you live in an environment/area that is high in pollution

+ you're not regularly changing your sheets, pillowcase, wiping down your phone, etc.

+ stressing about stressing

+ your diet is not ideal

= a BIG AHH SNOWBALL of problems that can be and more than likely is resulting in your acne. 

If you're able to control what you can control, such as everything above, except for the genetic inclinations, we may be able to make some improvements to our overall skin health and appearance. 

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