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8 Acne Blunders: Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working With Acne

Mark Lees, PhD February 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
8 Acne Blunders: Common Mistakes to Avoid When Working With Acn

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Acne-prone skin is a condition that affects many professional skin care clients. Yet, both consumers and estheticians are sometimes disappointed with results of treatment. There are some very important factors in acne development and treatment that are frequently forgotten or overlooked. Keeping these in mind can make a big difference in treatment success.

1. Don’t forget that acne is a genetic condition. The basic tendency to develop acne and comedones is genetic. Retention hyperkeratosis causes skin cells to accumulate inside follicles instead of desquamating as normal skin does. This cell buildup mixes with excessive sebum produced by the sebaceous glands. This oiliness factor is also genetic. The blockage caused by this clumping of dead cells and solidified sebum obstructs the follicle, preventing its aeration. Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, which exist normally in every follicle, are anaerobic, meaning they only survive in the absence of oxygen. These bacteria are normally fairly harmless and, even though they are in every follicle, their numbers are kept low because oxygen penetrating the follicle helps to eradicate them. However, when follicles are impacted, oxygen cannot penetrate to keep bacteria levels in check.

The blunder occurs when clients and estheticians forget that this is a genetic and ongoing battle. Once the skin is clear from the treatment, clients often believe that the condition is cured. They forget that it is chronic and will reoccur, so they stop treatment.

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