March 1, 2023

How Acne Develops—The 4 Elements of Acne

How Acne Develops—The 4 Elements of Acne

There are 4 elements that lead to pesky acne outbreaks 1) Excess oil, 2) Debris, 3) Bacteria, and 4) Inflammation.

1. Excess Oil

Acne-prone individuals have larger-sized sebaceous glands that are stimulated at the time of puberty. The overproduction of sebum contributes to acne.

2. Debris

Abnormal follicular keratinization. Hyperkeratinization occurs when the cells of the follicle become cohesive and do not shed normally onto the skin’s surface. Failure to shed intrafollicular keratocytes results in obstruction of the pilosebaceous unit with sebum and keratolytic debris, resulting in larger comedones. Basically, there is a plug or cap over your pore that will not allow the oil out.

3. Bacteria

The bacterium Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is considered a key player in acne development. Studies have shown that P. acnes uses sebum as a source of energy.

4. Inflammation

Trapped P. acnes lead to an exaggerated inflammatory response. A number of agents are secreted by the P. acnes, which include the enzymes lipase and protease. The enzymes manage to disrupt and degrade the follicular wall and initiate a cascade of inflammatory events. Inflammation disrupts the skin barrier.

So, what causes excessive oil production?

Research shows that hormones play the primary role in triggering excessive oil production and hyperkeratinization, leading to clogged pores and creating a climate for bacteria resulting in inflammation.

Hormonal make-ups in the human body can pinpoint toward an optimal, faster, and more appropriate treatment of acne. Because science tells us hormones are a contributing factor, testing for hormone levels might be the best place to begin when treating acne. Not all testing is created equal, and the science of testing hormones requires a specific skill set – finding a medical provider who specializes in this area is a great place to begin.

Let the Lifted team help you understand the root cause of your acne. Our Master Aestheticians can address the 4 main things that contribute to the production of acne. Our goal is to balance oil production, clear debris, kill the P. acne bacteria, and reduce inflammation, while Dr. Patrick Fox can help us understand the root cause of your acne.

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PMID: 27621661

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