Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Hair follicles are connected to oil glands in the Dermis. These glands secrete sebum to lubricate your hair and skin by travelling along the hair shaft and through the openings of the hair follicles onto the surface of your skin, feeding the waiting p.acnes bacterium and become the skin’s acid mantle, creating the skin’s barrier function – the waterproof barrier from the outside world.
When your body produces excess sebum and dead skin cells, the two can build up in the hair follicles, form a soft plug and stop sebum reaching the waiting p.acne bacterium. The bacteria therefore goes into the hair follicle looking to be fed and into an environment that it shouldn’t be in – this causes infection and inflammation = ACNE
The blocked pore can cause the follicle wall to bulge and produce a whitehead or the plug may be open, reach the surface and oxidise causing a blackhead.
Causes of Acne are;
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Excess skin cell build up – Hyper-keratinisation
- Bacterial infection
- Over production of sebum
Approximately 60% of 11-30 year olds are affected by acne*
Over 80% of adult acne occurs in women**
In 2014, the UK government stated that the biggest threat to common disease is antibiotics due to resistance.
*Health Library, NHS Inform
**Acne, anxiety depression and suicide in teenagers, a cross-sectional survey of New Zealand secondary students. J Paediatric Child Health 2006, Pages 42:793-6