The first step to treating acne is to understand acne, and Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT explains three core causes.
With such a plethora of information readily available on the internet, it’s easy to become confused about the root cause of acne. Rosemary Barclay, founder, and owner of Bonne Santé Wellness Center in Old Lyme, CT., is an acne specialist, certified esthetician, and board-certified nutrition specialist. After many years of education and applied experience, Rosemary Barclay explains the true causes of acne.
While many different factors influence the severity of your breakouts, it’s important to understand that acne is a genetic condition. These hereditary genes determine the size of the pore, numbers of pores and additionally affect the way pores function. The result can be an overproduction of sebum, clogged pores, and unwanted pimples. Genetic conditions like acne can skip generations so you could be the only person in your immediate family with acne. Rosemary Barclay recommends looking outside of your immediate family to see if you can pinpoint which parent you inherited acne from, simply by observing aunts, uncles, and cousins. This will help you learn whether you are prone to cystic, inflamed or non-inflamed acne.
Skin sheds layers of dead cells with the average, non-acne prone person shedding 1 layer of skin cells every day. Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT explains that someone with acne could actually shed up to 5 layers of dead skin cells per day, resulting in blocked pores due to a buildup of dead cells. This process, called retention hyperkeratosis, is at the core of acne and must be interrupted and the cycle must be broken in order to treat acne effectively. Follicular hyperkeratinization (abnormal rapid shedding ) of skin cells within the follicle is a crucial event in the formation of acne. These dead skin cells build up inside the pore to form a microcomedone, which cannot be seen from the surface of the skin and often occurs 3 months before they surface on the skin.
Another cause of acne is an individual’s sebum or oil production. Sebum production is controlled by hormones like androgens. During puberty, hormonal rises promote enlarged sebaceous glands and increase sebum production which is why acne is the hallmark of adolescence. Rosemary Barclay notes that oil becomes a problem when it’s thicker than it should be, mixing with the dead skin cells to create an even more stubborn buildup and an ideal environment for bacterial growth.
The last contributor to acne is a specific group of acne-causing bacteria which lives in the skin, called Propionibacterium acnes., commonly called P.acnes. These bacteria have the ability to form biofilms by adhering to the follicle in a complex process. Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT explains that while P acne exists in those who do not have acne, it may be that those who suffer from acne house a genetically different population of this bacteria. These bacteria can survive in environments without oxygen, so deep clogged pores provide the perfect oxygen-free home. An excessive buildup of oil and sebum provide energy for these bacteria, an ideal growth environment and trigger an immune response that results in inflammation. Anti-bacterial drug treatment is ineffective in successfully treating acne as the presence of these bacteria alone does not trigger acne.
Rosemary Barclay of Old Lyme, CT recommends seeking professional advice to diagnose and treat your acne and suggests addressing the root cause, the blocked pores and skin shedding rather than treating the bacterial infection. Diet and certain foods also play a role in aggravating acne, particularly high glycemic index foods.
About Rosemary Barclay
Rosemary Barclay earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in biochemistry in addition to becoming a board-certified nutrition specialist, certified esthetician, and acne specialist. Her many years of experience have led her to believe in the value of nutritious foods and organic products for good health and good skin. Rosemary Barclay lives in Old Lyme, CT. and is the founder of a wellness center. For more information about Bonne Santé Wellness Center in Old Lyme, CT, please visit: www.bonnesantellc.com