What Is the Definition of Clogged Pores?
A clogged pore is simply a pore of the skin that has become obstructed by dead skin and oil, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. For most people, a clogged pore eventually leads to the development of a comedone, papule, pustule, nodule or cyst, which are all forms of acne. The type of acne you develop is really dependent on the depth of the buildup and the rate of inflammatory response by the body.
When a pore becomes clogged, the dead skin and oil can develop into a plug. This plug further clogs the pore, causing more oil to accumulate within the follicle. As the amount of oil increases, the chances of infection increase as well. This is largely due to the fact that the P. acnes, the bacteria responsible for this skin condition, thrive in an oily environment.
Although there is really only one type of clogged pore affecting the skin, the plug that develops can lead to a variety of different types of acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. A plug that remains open often results in a comedone known as a blackhead. If this plug were to close, it can develop into a comedone known as a whitehead. When inflammation or infection sets into a clogged pore, you develop what is known as a papule. When this papule fills with pus due to inflammation or infection, you suffer from a pustule. Nodules develop from deeply clogged pores. Cysts are essentially nodules that have filled with pus.
Prevention for clogged pores usually entails basic skin care techniques. Washing the face and applying an over-the-counter acne cream can sometimes help to unclog the pores. Face washing removes excess oil and dead skin from the face, while acne creams can dry excess oil and prompt some exfoliation, removing the oil and dead skin that can cause the clogging.
When a clogged pore results in acne, treatment is usually based on the severity of the acne. For mild to moderate forms of acne, like comedones, papules or pustules, either over-the-counter or prescription acne creams will do the trick. Acne creams containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, lactic acid, tretinoin, adapalene or tazarotene are the most effective. If acne becomes more severe, you may need to use a combination of treatments, including acne creams, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, laser therapy or dermabrasion. Consult with a dermatologist to determine the best mode of acne treatment for you.
The Mayo Clinic maintains that acne resulting from a clogged pore isn't actually a result of dirty skin. The cause is almost always linked to excess oil and dead skin. Just because you're suffering from clogged pores and acne doesn't mean you're unclean. It's merely an indication that your pores are secreting more oil than what is needed to maintain the moistness of the skin.
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