Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

What Are the Causes of Pimples & Blackheads?

What Are the Causes of Pimples & Blackheads? What Are the Causes of Pimples & Blackheads? What Are the Causes of Pimples & Blackheads?

Pimples and blackheads are a common skin issue, especially for those going through times of abnormal hormone imbalance, such as puberty or pregnancy. Pimples and blackheads are often noticeable on the surface of the skin. In order for these lesions to form, certain factors must be present.

Sebaceous Glands

Your sebaceous glands are a contributing factor to the production of pimples and blackheads. The sebaceous glands are small glands located in your skin tissue that produce an oily substance called sebum. When combined with other substances, sebum can create soft plugs called comedones, more commonly referred to as blackheads or whiteheads.

Skin Shedding

The main substance that sebum combines with to produce a comedone is dead skin cells. Your skin is constantly replacing itself with new layers of skin cells while shedding older cells. These older cells provide the substance sebum needs to create firm acne plugs in the skin follicles.

Air

For a blackhead to develop, air must be present in order to create an oxidizing reaction, turning the comedone from a flesh color to black. For this to occur, the comedone must form near the opening of a wide follicle. When a comedone forms deeper in the follicle away from the surface, a whitehead forms instead. Both blackheads and whiteheads can progress to a pimple or other more serious forms of acne.

P. Acnes

As a blackhead is formed, bacteria can thrive beneath the soft acne plug. One of the most common acne-related bacterias that can be present is Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes, states MayoClinic.com. As this bacterial infection grows, it can quickly trigger the body's natural process of inflammation, creating the swollen red look of a pimple.

Inflammation

As P. acnes continue to thrive and infect the blackhead, the body can react by sending white blood cells to the area to fight the bacterial infection. As these blood cells pile up, inflammation can occur. This creates more inflammatory forms of acne such as pustules, papules, cysts and nodules. If inflammation continues, permanent cell damage can occur leading to acne scarring.

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