Acne is a chronic skin condition marked by inflammation and breakouts. It affects nearly 85% of the American population between the ages of 12-24. While acne isn’t dangerous, it can cause significant scarring and have a negative impact on your self-esteem.
The best way to understand acne is to think about the roles your hair follicles and pores play in maintaining healthy skin. You have millions of hair follicles spread over virtually every area of your body except the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet.
Each of those follicles connects an oil gland to a pore, which extends to the surface of your skin. Your oil glands produce sebum, an oily liquid that helps transport dead skin cells and other debris out of your body.
From time to time a hair follicle becomes blocked, and a combination of sebum, hair, and dead skin cells begins to accumulate into a plug. If that plug becomes infected by bacteria, inflammation follows. Acne is the culmination of the cycle involving plugged follicles, inflammation, and eventually a breakout at the surface of your skin