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  • Whether it’s the first day of school, a big interview or your wedding day, pimples find a way of cropping up at the most inconvenient times.

  • But why do they occur and how do we get rid of them?

  • The termpore”, it is just another way of sayinghair follicle”, and your body is covered in them.

  • Within the follicle is a gland that produces an oily substance called sebum,

  • which empties onto the skin to keep your hair and body moisturized.

  • But if the hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells and oils, a blockage is created.

  • Sebum continues to be produced but it is trapped within the follicle making it become enlarged.

  • And this is where bacteria come into play, feeding on the dead skin and sebum which can unfortunately lead to infection.

  • Your immune system responds by sending blood to the area, giving the appearance of redness and inflammation,

  • and white blood cells come to the site too, to clear up the infection.

  • When the white blood cells die, they, combined with the dead skin and sebum, create the pus filled pimple.

  • If the blockage occurs under the skin it creates a white bump known as a “whitehead

  • and if the blockage is above the skin and black discolouration occurs it’s known as a “blackhead”.

  • This is a result of melanin in the dead skin cells reacting with oxygen creating a black colour - it’s not dirt.

  • We get the most pimples when we are teens due to the increased amount of androgen hormones like testosterone in our bodies at the onset of puberty.

  • Testosterone sends the production of sebum into overdrive, increasing the incidence of blockages.

  • But zits can occur at any time - often brought on by stressful events.

  • Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases the amount of inflammation in your body, meaning more red bumps on your face and can also suppress your immune system,

  • meaning your body can’t fight the bacteria that is causing the acne.

  • So how do we fight the war on pimples? For normal breakouts, cleaning your face to remove excess oil,

  • which prevents pore blockage and occasionally exfoliating to remove dead skin will help, although acne often cannot be solved this way.

  • And it’s important to remember that cleanliness and diet do not play a major role in acne, but rather your genetics and hormones.

  • Many drugs exist like benzoyl peroxide which kills specific acne causing bacteria,

  • salicylic acid which helps to remove dead skin blockages, retinoids which reduce sebum production and a variety of others; though some drugs can have severe side effects.

  • In women, some success has been seen with oral contraceptives, which decrease the ovaries production of androgen hormones, ultimately decreases sebum.

  • Of course, consulting with a doctor over which regimen is best suited to you is always best.

  • But new therapies and cures may be on the horizon with the help of science!

  • By studying individuals who do not get acne, scientists noticed something:

  • the bacteria that typically causes acne still exists on their skin, but it’s a different strain.

  • It turns out that this same bacteria with slightly different genes causes healthier skin.

  • Knowing this, future therapies may include a deeper look at the bacterial level,

  • and whether or not altering your skin microbiota could cure pimples.

  • We're really glad to be working in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates,

  • in supporting their Annual Letter this year calledTwo superpowers we wish we had”!

  • Every year they release a letter looking at global issues, and this year the question is: What would your superpower for good be?

  • Would it be to have more clean energy like Bill or more time like Melinda, which means one thing in rich countries and something else to the world’s poorest families.

  • It’s a chance to enact positive change in the world.

  • So find something youre passionate about and learn more about it.

  • You can check out the letter with the link in the description,

  • and we'll be posting our superpower ideas on Instagram with #superpowerforgood.

Whether it’s the first day of school, a big interview or your wedding day, pimples find a way of cropping up at the most inconvenient times.

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B2 sebum dead skin skin acne follicle bacteria

Is There A Pimple Cure?

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    Vivi Lee posted on 2021/08/17
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