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What is acne and how to prevent it.

Over 50 million people in the UK suffer with acne every year and is the most common skin condition, it most commonly appears in puberty then the sebaceous glands activate but can happen at any age and is not dangerous but can leave scarring on the skin.

Our skin has pores that are connected to our oil glands underneath the skin. Follicles connect the glands to the pores and the follicles are small sacs that produce and secrete the sebum.

The glands produce the oily liquid called sebum from the sebaceous gland which carries the dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. Pimples or Spots and pimples grow when the follicles get blocked and the oil gets blocked in the pore underneath the skin.

Skin cells, sebum and hair can clump together into a plug which gets infected with bacteria and results in swelling. A pimple starts to develop when the plug begins to break down.

There are several causes that can trigger acne but the main cause of acne is thought to be a rise in androgen levels.rising androgen levels cause the oil glands under the skin to grow. Then the enlarged pore produces more sebum. Excessive sebum can break down the cellular walls in the pores, causing bacteria to grow.

There are several types of acne including:

Fungal acne:

Occurs when there is a yeast build up in the hair follicles these can be itchy and inflamed.

Cystic acne:

Causes deep pus filled pimples and nodules. These can cause scarring to the skin.

Hormonal acne:

Hormonal acne affects adults who have an overproduction of sebum that clogs the pores.

Nodular acne:

Nodular acne is a severe form of acne that causes pimples on the surface of your skin and tender nodular lumps under the skin's surface.

All forms of acne can affect your self esteem, and both cystic and nodular acne can lead to permanent damage and skin scarring. It's best to seek help early from a professional so they can determine the best treatment for you.

Acne is most common on the face but can also be on your chest, shoulders and back area. Oil glands exist all over the body. The common locations of acne are where we have the most concentrated oil glands.

A question I get asked a lot is how can I prevent acne ?

You can't completely prevent acne, especially if there are hormone changes in the body but you can reduce the risk of developing acne by:

Washing your face daily with warm water and cleanser.

Using a oil free cleanser.

Keep your hands away from your face.

Exfoliate once a week to remove dead skin cells.

Change your pillowcase regularly.

Wear non comedogenic makeup products ( mineral based not oil ).

Removing make up at the end of each day.

Drink lots of water to flush the skin.

Have a well balanced diet and avoid processed fatty foods.

Clean makeup brushes regularly.

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