Thursday, 7 October 2010

Treating the skin - acne causes

Patients of complementary therapists sometimes seek advice on acne which while responding to antibiotics during treatment then recurs.  Aromatherapy treatments using essential oils clear acne in about 8 weeks in conjunction with a cleansing program.  It doesnt seem right putting oil on an oily skin eg tea tree directly on the pustules until they dry then 10ml fresh season jojoba with a blend like lavender, geranium and bergamot.  A number of oils can be used and an aromatherapist will advise.  Why does it work? 

Acne is caused by overactivity of the sebaceous glands that secrete oily substances on to your skin.
The surface of your skin has lots of small sebaceous glands just below the surface. These glands make sebum (a natural oil) that keeps the skin smooth and supple.

Tiny pores (holes in the skin) allow the sebum to come to the surface of your skin. Hairs also grow through these pores.

The sebaceous glands of people with acne are especially sensitive to normal blood levels of the hormone testosterone, found naturally in both men and women. 

If you are prone to acne, testosterone triggers the sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum. At the same time, the dead skin cells lining the openings of the hair follicles (the tubes that hold the hair) aren't shed properly and clog up the follicles.

The combination of these two effects causes a build-up of oil in your hair follicles. This causes blackheads and whiteheads to form.

For some people, their acne doesn't progress beyond this stage.
However, in other people the build-up of oil in the hair follicles creates an ideal environment for a bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes to grow.  This the tea tree oil clears due to its antimicrobial activity.

These bacteria usually live harmlessly on your skin but when the conditions are right, they grow. They feed off the sebum and produce substances that cause an immune response. This inflames the skin and creates the redness associated with spots.

In more severe inflammatory acne, cysts develop beneath the skin's surface. If these cysts rupture, the infection can spread. This can result in scars.

Contrary to popular belief, acne isn't caused by diet or hygiene. However, acne can be hereditary.


1 comment:

  1. When I was in high school one of my biggest challenges is treating all my acne and pimples. You know, as teenagers, we’d try out my sisters’ beauty products when she’s away. It started out like that until I noticed that it’s really working so well on my skin. Then I just had to ask her where she got those products and how do I get them too. I was so surprised that it was actually her business already! My sister assisted me in starting my own business with Purity 12. Now, I’m really proud to say that I’ve earned enough from Purity 12 to actually go to college all on my own and financially independent. I couldn’t imagine how my life could have been so boring if I had not discovered Purity 12. You should really go try their products, I’m 100% sure you’ll also love them.