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medical 411: understanding


Acne is a prevalent skin disorder that affects millions of people, In the US alone, 60 million people are reported to have it. Acne affects all races, ages, and both genders.


acne


Acne isn’t the localized pimple that occurs once in a while. It is typically a series of blemishes that spring up over and over. Here is the general life cycle of acne:


1. The body produces more sebum (oil) than is necessary in sebaceous glands. Puberty and other hormonal changes are generally triggers for excessive sebum production.


2. The sebum, which in a normal pore would drain to the surface and go away naturally, mixes with bacteria from the skin and forms a blockage known as a microcomedone.


3. This microcomedone forms into a true comedone, which is commonly referred to as a “whitehead” or a


“blackhead.” When the trapped sebum and bacteria remain below the skin, it is a whitehead. When the blemish opens to the surface of the skin and oxidizes, it forms a blackhead. Blackheads are not pores with dirt in them. They’re actually the sebum, bacteria, and oxidized melanin, which


turns a dark brown or black color. A blackhead or whitehead can release its contents to the surface and heal. This is why this type of acne is considered non- inflammatory.


4. Another route for the microcomedone to take is inflammatory acne. In this case a papule will form when there is a break in the follicular wall of the pore. White blood cells rush in and the pore becomes inflamed. The


5 2 1 0


fruits and veggies a day


hours or less of computer or TV time


hour of active play


sugary drinks


Being a healthy hero means doing everything to help your kids to be fit and healthy. These four little numbers—5, 2, 1 and 0—are a great place to start. They’re a fun, easy-to-remember way to get kids to eat right and exercise every day.


Visit www.BeAHealthyHero.org today for cool tools, simple tips and more.


© 2011 Greater Rochester Health Foundation ROCHESTER HEALTHY LIVING | APRIL 2011 | 9


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