How does acne form?
Beneath your skin’s surface there are many follicles (commonly called pores) with sebaceous glands attached to them. These glands produce and secrete a protective oil called sebum.
• During puberty, testosterone levels rise in both sexes. This excess testosterone is taken into the sebaceous glands thereby increasing sebum production.
• At the same time, the keratin in your skin becomes unusually sticky causing the sebum to plug your pores and prevent skin shedding.
• If the follicle opens, the keratinous material escapes through it and an open comedone or blackhead results. If the follicle does not open sufficiently, a closed comedone or whitehead results, within which inflammation can occur. Most acne sufferers have a combination of both.
• Papules form under the skin’s surface when the follicle wall breaks mixing white blood cells with bacteria. A few days later, this papule can form into a pustule (commonly known as a pimple) when the follicle becomes red and fills with pus.
• These pustules can explode and inflame the surrounding skin to form nodules or cysts in severe cases.
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