acne and breakouts
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A common misconception is that acne only affects teenagers. But more than ever before, adults are suffering with oily and acneic skin conditions.
The primary catalyst of adult acne is chronic stress. Balancing personal and professional responsibilities makes this generation of adults the most time-compressed generation in history, which contributes to chronic stress: the constant, continued and heightened level of stress that throws our adrenal glands into overdrive, which in turn can boost sebum production, setting the stage for acne development.
Adult acne can also be aggravated by internal and external factors. Internally, the psychological effects of adult acne can contribute to continued flare-ups and breakouts. When adults are frustrated by the signs of acne on their skin, it causes additional emotional stress, which contributes to a continued over-activity of the sebaceous glands and leads to the continued cycle of breakouts. Externally, the need to “pick” or “squeeze” breakouts places even more bacteria on skin.
triggersback to top
While stress creates the trigger for acne, there are four main factors that contribute to the development of acne: overactive sebaceous glands (the production of too much oil), dead skin cell accumulation, bacteria and inflammation.
When overactive sebaceous glands produce too much oil, this oil spills onto the skin’s surface, creating a slick, greasy appearance. This excess oil acts as a binder, holding on to dead skin cells that were meant to be shed. The follicle becomes clogged with a mixture of oil and dead skin cells, prohibiting oxygen from entering. This creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which leads to the swelling, redness and inflammation around the follicle, resulting in acne.
To successfully treat, clear and prevent acne, the cascade of events leading to acne development must be controlled: we must regulate the sebaceous glands, promote exfoliation to help shed dead skin cells from the surface, kill bacteria and soothe inflammation.