So, what is acne anyway?
Acne is an inflammatory skin condition that affects the skin’s oil glands and hair follicles. I’m sure you’ve heard of “pores”. Those small holes on our face connect to oil glands under our skin and produce a substance called sebum. Our pores connect to the skins oil glands (sebaceous glands) by a funnel known as a follicle. Follicles are small pods that create and discharge oil. Sebum (oil) transports dead skin cells, along with a thin hair, to the surface of the skin within the follicle. Sometimes, the dead skin cells, hair, and sebum get clumped into a plug. This is a breeding ground for bacteria, which causes the swelling. As the plug begins to deteriorate, it breaks down under the skin and the pimple grows larger.
Acne varies in size, color, and level of pain.
- Whiteheads: These linger under the skin and are small
- Blackheads: Clearly visible, they are black and emerge on the surface of the skin
- Papules: Small, usually pink bumps, these are visible on the surface of the skin
- Pustules: Clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are red at their base and have pus at the top
- Nodules: Clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are large, solid, painful pimples that are embedded deep in the skin
- Cysts: Clearly visible on the surface of the skin. They are painful and filled with pus. Cysts can cause scars.