Monday, May 17, 2010

How A Pimple Forms

Hey all! I was reading around and I came across this article that explains really well the process of a pimple forming! Now it makes me a little confused because I hear that no one knows exactly what causes acne, and then on the other side I hear people saying they know exactly what causes acne. So either way this article will help you out if you don’t know too much about pimples and how they form. I got the article from: http://www.acnetalks.com/pimple/Acne-Basics/Define-Acne/How-Acne-Happens.htm


Check it out!

Did you always think that acne appears in just one day or one night? Many people think that. This is not true. An acne or pimple, emerges from a blemish, which requires 2-3 weeks to take a defined form of acne. You cannot see this process because it happens deep under your skin. There are several factors that function differently in different people to form acne. That is acne is a highly individualized problem and you should therefore explore acne forming roots in you.



Your acne is caused when holes present in your skin in the form of pores and hair follicles get clogged by dead skin cells and excessive sebum content. Pores are little holes present on your skin. These pores are actually hair follicles containing very fine hair. Each hair follicle is connected to a sebaceous gland.

The sebaceous gland produces an oily substance called sebum. Sebum helps in keeping the skin soft. This sebum reaches the surface of the skin through the hair follicle. The hair follicle is lined with cells called Keratinocytes.

Now, during puberty, testosterone, a hormone present both in males and females, increases. This increase in testosterone encourages the sebaceous gland to produce more sebum. This sebum, hair, and keratinocytes fill and plug the hair follicle. Plugging of the follicle is the earliest sign of acne. Because the follicle is plugged, sebum cannot reach the surface of the skin. This means that the follicle is filled with oil (sebum) and cells (keratinocytes). A mixture of both these causes Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes, which is present on the skin, to grow in the plugged follicle.

This bacteria in the plugged follicle, induces the white blood cells to attack it. When the white blood cells attack, they cause the skin to inflame. This inflammation is characterized by heat, swelling, redness and pain.



In due course of time, the wall of the hair follicle breaks down, spilling everything, that is, sebum, dead cells, and bacteria, on the nearby skin. This leads to lesions or pimples, which we commonly refer to as Acne. Acne can be either mild, moderate or severe.

Now that you know how acne develops, it is necessary to check out the factors that contribute to your acne. Following factors contribute to acne:



1. Hormones: At puberty, the body begins producing hormones called androgens (male hormones, but present in both males and females). These stimulate the sebaceous glands, which in turn, produce extra sebum. Androgen is also responsible for acne flare-ups during the menstrual cycle and at times, pregnancy.



2. Excess sebum: Excess sebum is responsible for plugging the hair follicle. It mixes with P. acnes and causes acne.

3. Dead cells: Generally, dead cells are thrown out gradually by the skin. But, when these dead cells mix with the excess sebum, they contribute to the plugging of the hair follicle, thereby pausing the skin's natural process of throwing out dead cells.

4. Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes: Though P. acnes is present on all skin types at all times, it starts multiplying rapidly once a follicle is plugged.



5. Inflammatory Response: In order to control unwanted bacteria, the body sends out white blood cells to fight against it. The skin reacts to these white blood cells by inflaming. This inflammation causes the pimples to become swollen, red and painful.



Remember that the functioning of these five factors is different for different people. That is, acne is a highly individualized problem. So, do not compare yourself with your friend.

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