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When ever I come across some one with dry skin or normal skin with a pore less finish, I always get into this whole thought process of how skin has pores, oily skin has larger pores, some friends from college have a pore-less dry skin and never have any oil secretion, I am very sure all oily skinned girls wonder the same, when we have acne, we try everything to stop the process of pore clogging, that is start at the very root to keep pores clean, for that we need to know why our pores are clogged in the first place, what causes clogged pores…take a look
Why do we have pores? Pores are there all over our skin for sweat release and pores need to be clear in order for healthy functioning, havent you heard how bad antiperspirants are for our skin since they clog the sweat glands which in turn does not allow the release of sweat? Similarly, pores on our face and else where get clogged over time with dead surface cells, sweat and oil too. Sebum or oily occurs naturally on our skin for lubirctaion, oily skin produces much more sebum than other skin types due to various factors, like hormones, genetics, climate, products used, stress and the like ( Read More in the my post HERE)
When our skin produces too much oil,along with the sweat and the dead cells, dirt and bacteria, our pores get clogged. Clogged pores cause blackheads, whiteheads and pimples.So look at this combination – sweat+dead cells+sebum+dirt+bacteria= clogged pores. Of course you are more prone to this condition if you have oily skin, and have larger open pores due to genetic or external factors.
Coming to the next step in the whole clogged pore to acne situation, under the pore which is clogged, the area is a warm moist bacteria-harbor, which in turn cause the acne, the pus-filled acne is nothing but our own white blood cells attacking the breeding bacteria beneath a clogged pore. Since our body conceives This bacteria is harmful to the surrounding skin, so the body deploys white blood cells to attack it. The acne is a situation that our body’s defense mechanism has created to get rid of the bacteria, which is harmful the skin and to get rid of the clogged pore, hence the pus filled acne!
What you see next in the stage of the acne is inflammation caused as result of the immune system fighting the bacteria in the shape of white blood cells, when our body senses an infection the white blood cell count rises and shows up to let our bodies know about the infection, telling this from personal experience, sometimes our blood reports show a rise in WBC which means our body is fighting an infection. I always read my reports very carefully 😛 (Our doc readers please correct me if I go wrong)
Once we see the inflammation and the acne, that is when we realize we need to keep the pore clean to avoid the clogging in the first place..this is when medication come into play, products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are basically instruments to get rid of dead cells, dirt, oil and deposits in the form of a mild peel,which overtime helps reduce clogging. Exfoliators and scrubs work in the same way, they clean the surface off the oil and dirt and the sweat so the skin is clean but over stimulation would lead to more oil production in turn so limit scrubbing, haven’t you heard that a lot?
A list of the best salicylic acid products HERE
So what exactly is this dirt apart from the natural oil and sweat, the makeup we wear, the air we live in and the dust and pollution all contribute to the dirt clogging the pore, hence we are asked to clean the face off all makeup before we sleep so our skin can regulate the oil and sweat secretion, similarly the sweat released when we exercise also regulate and cleans the pores naturally.Stale makeup sitting on the skin like powder and foundation especially oil based foundation, contribute to the cement clogging the pore.
Normal pores shed about one layer of dead skin cells per day inside the pore, normal skin does fine with lesser dirt and dead cells to worry about hence the pores keep clean and clog lesser. Now for oily skin, pore sheds up to five layers of dead skin cells per day which means more debris, dead cells and oil and sweat to worry about,to get rid off,needs deeper cleansing and when the skin does not get that sort of a cleansing, the pores are clogged and the whole process of bacteria-white blood cell war start showing up as an acne and pus.
You know why we need to refrain from touching our face, this is because we deliver more bacteria to the skin to harbor under the clogged pore, and then our body would have to attack it like I said above, the bacteria love the dead skin and oil congestion, bacteria+clogged pore=acne! the top part of the blackhead that is the clogged pore is blacker since it oxidizes with the air, hence you call it a blackhead!
One last thing I would add here is you cannot stop your skin from producing oil but you can regulate it and keep it clean,another thing, the acne leaves a scar behind when the debris and pus spill out into the pore, and destroys healthy skin tissue.
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