Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acne Stages

Acne Stages Acne Stages Acne Stages

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne (also called acne vulgaris) is the most common skin problem in the United States. The Academy estimates that 85 percent of American teenagers will have acne every year. The exact cause of acne is still unknown, but the Academy reports that clogged pores, excess oil, bacteria and inflammation all contribute to acne. Acne develops in four distinct stages.

Stage One: Comedones

The first stage of acne involves comedones (otherwise known as blackheads and whiteheads) to forming on your skin. In this stage, the pores in your skin get clogged by dead skin cells, which prevent sebum (a oily substance that the sebaceous glands secrete) from being secreted to protect your skin. When the sebum cannot release, it starts to fill your pores. Closed comedones (called whiteheads) develop when the mixture of dead cells and sebum remain trapped underneath the surface of your skin. An opened comedone (called a blackhead) develops when your pore opens up to the surface and the sebum gets oxidized, turning it into a brown or black color.

Stage Two: Small Bumps

In the second stage of acne, papules begin to appear on your skin. Papules are small, solid bumps that are slightly elevated on your skin. These develop when the bacteria "Propionibacterium acnes" (or "P. acne") begins to multiply rapidly as a result of clogged pores. White blood cells then rush in to ward off the bacteria, which causes your pores to get inflamed. At this stage, you have mild acne.

Stage Three: Pimples

Pustules (also called pimples) develop a few days later in the third stage. Pimples form after inflammation causes your white blood cells to rush in to fight "P. acne" on the surface of your skin. The breakout of pimples is a severe form of acne. Pimples can burst or collapse, which inflames the skin surrounding them.

Stage Four: Cysts & Nodules

When pimples burst or collapse, the surrounding skin gets inflamed, which causes nodules and cysts to form. In this fourth stage, you have a more severe type of acne. Nodules are essentially inflamed lesions (discolored and diseased tissues) that extend deeply into your skin. Nodules are painful and can even damage the inner layers of your skin, which results in scars. Cysts are large legions that are filled with sebum, pus, bacteria and dead skin cells. Cysts can also damage your skin tissue and cause scars to form on your face.

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