Acne 101: OMG..Why these Zits?

Not a week goes by where I don’t have an heart-to-heart with a fellow acne sufferer in an utter upheaval of frustration having reached their full-blown breaking point—literally, as in breaking-out relentlessly, despite trying EVERYTHING! Many are truly frustrated to tears over the bumps and blemishes erupting an otherwise lovely, creamy-smooth complexion.

“I just don’t understand WHAT’S GOING ON!!? I don’t know WHY my skin’s breaking out like this?  I’ve spent SO much money and nothing’s worked! I’ve tried EVERYTHING!!”

Sound familiar?..

Well, to answer the question as to why you’re breaking out in the first place, it’s critical that we first and foremost—before jumping ahead to possible fixes and lotions & potions, have a total and complete understanding of the complex yet simple anatomy of acne! In other words, what’s going on in the inside the clogged pore (which usually erupts into a full on ZIT) from it’s earliest, most vulnerable stages; those stages that are completely invisible to us in the beginning! Pssst..everything I do in the treatment room and the products and remedies I recommend revolve around inhibiting the process I’m about to mention, so lean-in, because it’s absolutely essential that every acne sufferer understands to a “T” the anatomy of a clogged pore. It’s your right of passage to a clear, revitalized complexions begins with a firm understanding of whats going on with your skin so they can in turn, understand WHAT topical acne products work, and HOW to best use and incorporate as a supplement to healthy dietary and lifestyle tweaks in remedying their skin clear!

Remedying your complexion to clear is your nobody’s responsibity but your’s. Wheather or not you’ll be disciplined enough to do it is a choice.

Acne is The choice is your’s.

Most people are smart enough to know that oily skin, basic hygiene practices, and hormonal fluctuations; from puberty to pregnancy, and throughout the course of a persons life (especially women) are inevitably interconnected to breakouts—and they’re right! However, there’s a lot more brewing beneath the surface—literally,  than most knew were even contributing factors to begin with.

Lets break it down in two sentences:

So, each and every one of us are born with a genetically predetermined about of skin pores, called pore follicles. Follicles sound as though they’re having to do with hair, and they are! Our skin pores are actually itty bitty little hair follicles found the 100’s per square inch covering our face and body’s largest, most sensuous organ—our skin!  The pore follicles(which may or may not contain an actual hair shaft) secrete natural skin oil called sebum, to soften, lubricate and protect our skin. The skin pores also help us to secrete sweat, regulate vital temperature, and plays a big part in our immunity function by acting as a protective line of defense between us and the outside world; warding off bacteria and viruses form penetrating through to our bloodstream. Our skin is nothing short of AMAZING!

Essentially, a pimple results when an over abundance or excessive amount of oil, called sebum, mixes together with an over abundance or excessive amount of dead skin cells called keratinocytes (that stack over the top of and line the inside of the pores) and forms a sticky, cement-like mass (much like a glue) that ultimately clogs the inside of the pore follicle; inhibiting the oil from flowing freely out of the pore.

Harmful acne bacteria called propioni acne bacteria (“P. acne bacteria”) then begin to over populate within the clogged pore and multiply very rapidly! This surge of harmful bacteria typically results in a little localized infection triggering an immune response in the surrounding skin. Anytime there is a a cut, a sore, or any kind of trauma to the skin, an immune response is activated causing inflammation (which accounts for the redness in a papule “red bump/pimple), and oftentimes is accompanied with a white/yellowish PUS formed from white blood cells that surge in to aid (aka a “whitehead”)-lovely!

BUT WHY ME? In those that suffer from acne, there seems to almost always be the common denominator of not just an excess of oil being secreted within the pores, BUT ALSO, THE OVER EXCESS OR THICKENING OF DEAD KERATIN OR DEAD SKIN CELLS AS YOU”LL RECALL. There seems to be an accelerated, faster rate in which the skin cells regenerate and renews themselves resulting in a “thickening”, or surplus of dead skin cell deposits on the top layer of the skin and also hanging around the inside of the pores increase the chances of that sticky, pore clogging mass of dead skin cells to form.

While there’s s still so much to learn and understand about the acne condition, there seems to been a genetic component in having the tendency to shed dead skin cells at much FASTER rate than the average person. That, along with the tendency to secrete an over-abundance of oil is why you have be affected by acne and your lucky friends don’t break out at all!

It is important to understand that there are MANY internal, intrinsic factors happening within our bodies systematically, from chronic inflammation brewing from beneath to hormones going haywire! These imbalances contribute to and exacerbate the acne cycle before we even see it manifest on our faces– that can be to much extent be controlled by our lifestyle choices and the foods we choose to nourish (or poison) our bodies with. we make extent helping to diminish the acne cycle (even if your acne is genetic!):

Just to plant the seed, here are some of the most common acne contributing factors proven in numerous case studies:

  • Hormones; hormonal fluctuations and imbalances
  • Birth Control (particularly those high in the androgen stimulating hormone progestin)
  • Certain Medications
  • Allergies/Food Intolerances
  • Gluten Intolerance (some individuals)
  • Dietary/Nutritional Factors
  • Inadequate intake or supplementation of essential fatty acids (EFA)
  • Sugar (eating a high-glycemic index based diet)
  • Dairy/Milk
  • Wheat/Gluten
  • Intestinal permeability “Leaky Gut”
  • Iodine
  • Stress
  • Sleep/Rest
  • Toxins
  • Drugs & Alcohol
  • Sweat
  • Friction
  • Irritation & over stimulation
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