Bacteria, Acne and Your Skin - What You Need to Know

Acne is a disorder of the pilosebaceous unit, which consists of a hair, a hair follicle and sebaceous gland. Pilosebaceous units are located all over your body, except for your lower lip, palms, soles and tops of feet. Most of these units can be found on the face, neck and chest. The sebaceous gland produces sebum, an oily substance that keeps your skin moisturized. At adolescence, sebaceous glands enlarge and make more sebum due to an increase of hormones called androgens and bacteria on your skin increases overall.

Types of bacteria that begin to appear on your skin during the teen years include proprionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), staphylococcus epidermis and proprionibacterium granulosum. There is also a substantial increase of Melassezia yeasts. Although the severity of acne is not contingent on the number of bacteria on the skin, the P. acnes bacteria specifically can produce inflammatory agents and active enzymes that could contribute to the activity of acne. These agents and enzymes include proteases, hyaluronate lyase, lipases, phosphatase and smooth-muscle contracting substances. Such bacteria can penetrate the skin, causing inflammation resulting in external eruptions and pimples that appear on the skin.

The formation of free fatty acids is also caused by bacteria. These free fatty acids are irritants that increase inflammation in the follicle. When follicles become obstructed by excess sebum, the process is referred to comedogenesis. This process results in a type of acne called comedones, commonly known as blackheads and whiteheads.

To minimize bacteria on your skin, make sure to wash your face twice a day with a suitable cleanser. Using an astringent, clay facial mask and exfoliator can also remove surface sebum from your skin and prevent potential blemishes. Natural antimicrobial ingredients to look for in the products you choose include tea tree oil, sage oil, thyme oil, eucalyptus oil and witch hazel extract. These natural elements gently remove oil and bacteria from the surface of your skin. Consuming greasy foods can also increase the amount of sebum produced within your body, ultimately causing an oilier complexion externally, and should be avoided.

With a little extra attention, you can keep your skin free of bacteria and blemishes for a porcelain perfect complexion everyday!

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent
any skin disease. Please consult with your dermatologist before starting a skin care regimen.