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What is acne?

Many people are not aware that the medical name for acne is called acne vulgaris, which in Latin means "common." This perhaps can be used to describe that acne, acne care and acne clear are one of the most frequently diagnosed and much talk about skin conditions worldwide. Other names that are often used to describe acne are pimples, bumps, breakouts, zits, lesions (usually look like a mark in the skin), clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, red spots and rash.

It arises as the result of a very common and often chronic medical condition of the hair follicles (i.e. the unit that contains the hair and the roots of hair) that line our skin and its associated oil-producing glands (i.e. glands is considered as a group of cells). Acne occurs most commonly on our face, especially in the area known as the "T zone," which shall include our forehead, nose and chin. Acne vulgaris may appear on our chest, back, arms and buttocks too.

Will our lips ever get acne? The answer is no, because this part of our body does not have oil-producing glands. One thing about acne is that it is a skin condition that can occur in every gender, race and ethnicity, and at any age that shall include from birth to old age.

It is no surprise that people who were spared acne in their teen years may one day wake up in their 30s or 40s to find a few or many pimples, though, acne care and acne clear is a skin condition mostly of teenage years.

In fact, acne can consist of a single pimple or of many lesions. It usually looks red or white and can even be black. We usually will feel itchy, painful and not just unsightly. Though those with oily skin are more prone to acne thus the necessary action of acne care and acne clear, but people with dry skin may have acne too.

It is good to know that different people can have different types of lesions that can last from days to weeks to months, and with the possibility of leaving significant redness or scars. However, as far as acne care and acne clear is concerned, some understanding on how it happens is very important as this will help for better acne control and acne treatment, in short ideal acne solutions that vary among individual.

Regardless of what types of acne one has, the first step in acne progression is a combination of increased oil production from the sebaceous glands (i.e. oil producing glands that are located in the deeper layers of our skin) and improper shedding of our skin cells lining our hair follicles. The skin on our face, chest, back and upper arms all have an increased density of sebaceous glands and are attached to the hundreds of miniature hairs that exit to the surface of our skin through follicles, which is commonly known as pores.

Those sebaceous glands will produce oily substance called sebum, which will travel from the sebaceous gland through the follicle and end up on the surface of our skin. At the base of each follicle, there exists a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes (also known as P. acnes), i.e. the main culprit that is responsible for inflammatory acne. It is good to know that inflammatory acne is a class of acne where the main lesions are papules and pustules but not comedones.

When and if the opening of our follicle gets blocked or if our skin cells of the lining regenerate either too quickly or too slowly, or do not move up and out of the follicle properly, the next layer of our skin cells behind them will have nowhere to go, also the oxygen supply in the follicle gets cut off and the sebum/oil that the sebaceous glands produce together with the protein that makes up our skin cells, will serve as a perfect diet on which the P. acnes grow and prosper and produce more P. acnes.

At this juncture, our body will likely recognize something is amiss and our body white blood cells (i.e. our body’s main defense against infection) will attack as needed to clear those acne infections and get rid of any unwanted foreign invaders. This process will leave our skin looking red and bumpy and often made us feel itchy or painful. However, if the P. acnes is not activated, then the contents of the follicle that build up and bulge behind the blocked opening will cause a lumpy, bumpy look on the surface of our skin that can be white if the opening remains blocked or black if the contents finally burst through to the surface and react with oxygen. These lesions are what we called whiteheads and blackheads, respectively. Whiteheads and blackheads are most commonly occur on our face and back and seem to be a fixture for most people on their noses.

What all this means is that where necessary this shall require our attention on the appropriate acne care and acne clear actions.

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