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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?

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Making the sun your friend this summer

There are mixed opinions as to whether the sun actually helps with problem skin. The most important consequence of sun exposure for people with acne is that inflamed and irritated skin is much more likely to become pigmented, which is the skin’s protective response as it tries to minimise sun damage.

Is there a connection between dehydrated skin and acne?

When your skin is dehydrated, it can feel tight and dry – and this may lead you to think that you are suffering from dry skin. If your skin is dehydrated and particularly if this has resulted in spots, you should establish an effective skincare regime. Here's how to do just that.

World Health Day - What does your skin say about you?

The most common and troublesome skin complaint is acne, with spots affecting more than 80% of us all at some point in our lives. There are many potential underlying causes and the part of your face that’s affected can shed light on the most effective management strategies.

How to have your cake and eat it too this Easter! (skin-friendly edition)

If you have problem skin and are struggling to eat the right kind of diet to help keep your spots at bay, does this mean that you shouldn’t have an Easter Egg at all? Dr Sam Robson shares her top tip how to treat yourself this Easter without worrying about the effects of those chocolate eggs on your skin.


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