Acne-Prone Skin

Acne is the most common skin condition in the world.

Acne is considered a sub-category of the oily skin type and can affect many individuals at various times in their lives. According to the non-profit organization Acne Resource, “acne is the most common skin disease in the world.”

The Acne Resource reports that of the 85% of people between the age of 12 and 24 who have acne, 25 % will have permanent scars. Anyone from any age or ethnicity can be affected. The American Dermatologist Association says there are 60 million Americans who have active acne. Reports have shown that 40 % of those with active acne are doing nothing about it, mostly because they don’t know what to do. Many of those who are trying to do something about acne end up using harsh and drying treatments that temporarily dry their skin. The skin reacts by producing excess oil to offset the dryness, creating a vicious cycle.

What is acne?

Before and After Acne Treatment

Many people suffer from acne, but they do not know exactly how it originates. The NIAMS reports, that acne occurs when the pores of the skin become clogged. Each of the pores on the skin is a follicle, which is a  small opening to a canal. This canal contains an oil gland and hair. The oil glands usually keep the skin lubricated to enable the removal of old skin cells. However, when the oil glands yield too much oil, the pores can become blocked and accrue bacteria, dirt, and debris. This blockage of the follicle is called comedone, or a plug. This blockage can result as a blackhead or a whitehead. If this plug ruptures, the oil and bacteria can spread to the surrounding skin and can cause an inflammatory reaction. In the case of deep inflammation, pimples can enlarge to cause painful cysts.

Acne is most commonly found on the face, but it can also be found on arms, buttocks, legs, shoulders, and arms. Adolescents, from 12-20, are the age group that most commonly suffer with acne. In a recent study, three out of four teenagers suffer from some type of acne. This is probably a result of hormonal changes that can stimulate overactive oil production. Nevertheless, anyone at any age is can suffer from acne.

Acne tends to run in families and can be triggered by:

  • Hormonal changes (related to menstrual periods)
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Stress
  • Greasy or oily cosmetic and hair products
  • Certain medications (such as steroids)
  • Overactive oil glands
  • Blockage of the skin pores
  • Activity of normal skin bacteria
  • Inflammation
  • Normal Follicles

Sebum produced by the sebaceous glands combines with cells that are sloughed off within the hair follicle and “fill up” the follicle. When the follicle is “full” the sebum spreads over the skin surface giving the skin an oily appearance. When this process works correctly, the skin is moisturized and remains healthy.

Obstructed Follicles

Problems arise when the sebum is trapped in the hair follicle. For unclear reasons, some hair follicles become obstructed. The sebum is produced but gets trapped on the way out, and the cells that are normally sloughed off become “sticky”, plugging up the follicle. The process of obstructing follicles is called ‘comedogenesis.’ It causes some follicles to form a type of acne called ‘comedones,’ also known as blackheads and whiteheads.

Acne & Bacteria

A bacteria, known as ‘Propionibacterium acnes,’ is a normal inhabitant of the skin and it uses sebum as a nutrient for growth. People with acne tend to have more of this bacteria in their follicles than people without acne. The presence of bacteria attracts white blood cells to the follicle. These white blood cells produce an enzyme that damages the wall of the follicle, allowing its contents to enter the dermis. This process causes an inflammatory response seen as papules (red bumps), pustules, and nodules. The bacteria also cause the formation of free fatty acids, which are irritants, increasing the inflammatory process in the follicle.

How do we threat acne?

Many health-care practitioners acknowledge that most acne treatments are harsh, invasive and often disappoint the sufferer. Some of the methods used can even be harmful to our health. Taking daily antibiotics is certainly not a sustainable and healthy choice for most people. Other acne treatments often dry out and damage the skin, causing even more problems. Overall, to get rid of acne, the focus must be on gentle, consistent exfoliation, cleansing, and hydration to help normalize oil production. The great news is that clear and healthy skin is possible using a natural, nontoxic approach. A healthy diet and lifestyle will also help significantly.

The Vivoderm acne regimen treats the problem in a nontoxic, gentle yet very effective way. We have designed our products to attack acne at every angle. Our natural regimen thoroughly exfoliates and cleanses the skin, promotes dissolution of plugs and removes acne components by unplugging the pores. The antibacterial properties of our herbs promote killing of acne-causing bacteria. The enzymes and proteins in the herbs then catalyze the repair and rejuvenation process. Our acne treatment products have also been shown to help prevent new acne by maintaining a healthy skin condition.