We all experience them, but what exactly is the real reason for breakouts, and how can we better understand them so we can prevent them? Acne is a perfect example of chronic systemic inflammation existing on a cellular level. Even though acne breakouts surface on the skin, they are the sign of imbalances deep within the pores.
The Right Mix: Oil and bacteria can live amicably in the pores, but, when sebum gets trapped and can’t flow to the skin’s surface, and it mixes with bacteria inhabiting the follicle, a pimple results.
An Attempt to Heal: “Basically acne, rosacea and perioral dermatitis may use certain biochemical processes to heal the skin through an inflammatory response. With continued inflammation, it becomes harder and harder to treat the skin because it becomes more sensitive to products,” says Las Vegas dermatologist Dr. Alison Tam.
How Breakouts Heal: If all breakouts are the result of an inflammatory response, why don’t they all heal the same? “Long-standing inflammation in the skin leads to scarring and the tissue being remodeled. When this happens, acne scars, texture changes and hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation can occur,” adds Dr. Tam.
The Reason for Scars: The more oil, dead skin and bacteria in the pore, the bigger the infection and the harder the body attacks it. That’s why superinflamed breakouts can scar.
How to Fight It: To properly treat recurring breakouts, follow a plan of attack that includes lifting away dead skin through exfoliation, killing acne-inducing bacteria and minimizing the amount of oil produced.
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