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The Acne bacteria - now known as Cutibacterium Acnes - live on everyone’s skin 

What causes acne? 

Our sebaceous (oil producing) glands are affected by our hormones. In people who have Acne, the glands are particularly sensitive even to the normal blood levels of these hormones. This causes the glands to produce too much oil and grease, and at the same time the lining of the pores (the small holes in the skin surface) become thickened and the dead cells are not shed properly.

A mixture of the sebum and dead cells build up which plugs the pores, producing blackheads and whiteheads. The plug of dead skin cells turns black from exposure to air - not due to dirt.
Acne can be inflamed with spots and pustules or just blackheads and blocked pores.

Type of acne

Usually causing no problems, for those with Acne the build-up of oil is an ideal environment for the bacteria to multiply. This is accompanied by inflammation which leads to the formation of red, swollen or pus-filled spots.

Blackheads - open Comedones (no inflammation)

Whiteheads - overstimulation of the sebaceous glands (no inflammation)

Pustules and Nodules - proliferation of Cutibacterium Acnes (formerly Propionibacterium Acnes)

Nodules and Severe, Deep Inflammation - risk of permanent scars  

acne types

Stages of acne 

Severe Acne is often wide-spread and can affect the face and neck or chest or back.

We often don’t relate non-inflammatory acne with ‘Acne’, dismissing the subtler signs of it as temporary breakouts which go away on their own. However, this can progress as a chronic inflammation of the pilosebacous uniti which leads to more problematic Acne and even scarring.  

STAGE 1

first stage of acne

Oily skin
Clogged pores
Slight Acne  

STAGE 2

second stage of acne

Oily skin
Clogged pores
Lots of Acne

STAGE 3

third stage of acne

Oily and inflamed skin
Clogged pores
Acne, papules and pustules

STAGE 4

fourth stage of acne

Oily and very inflamed skin
Clogged pores, severe Acne
Many papules and pustules

Each progressive stage of Acne manifests a variety of different problems, it can be painful and uncomfortable and may lead to scarring. All of the stages require some intervention to prevent the progression of the condition.  

For years now, dermatologists have also used another less known but very effective treatment: Blue Light Therapy.

Find out how Blue Light Technology can help.

WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?

Acne and self-esteem

We do hear frequently that “beauty is more than skin-deep”. We live in a society where a lot of emphasis is placed on having a healthy attractive appearance. Over recent years with the expansion of social media, “selfies” and zoom meetings, facial appearance has been more under the spotlight than ever before. It is not an easy time to have acne. 

Acne and Stress Management

Not only does acne cause anxiety, but stress worsens acne symptoms. Indeed, surveys indicate that sufferers consider stress to be the most important factor that worsens skin symptoms. How can this stress/ acne circle be interrupted? There are some interesting techniques and tips to help reducing acne induced stress and therefore acne itself!

Do We Inherit Acne?

Why is it that around 20% of people in western societies are significantly affected by acne and other people are not? The biggest factor is almost certainly genetic. But could there be more to it?

5 Acne Myths Debunked

Does toothpaste actually help with acne? Is sunbathing really beneficial? With so much conflicting advice available on the internet about acne today, Dr Sam Robson debunks some of these misconceptions and set the record straight about problem skin in her latest blog.


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