Understanding the basics of skin anatomy and physiology is important in treating the skin overall, but particularly with chronic skin conditions such as acne. The well documented properties of skin such as an intact barrier function, a balanced microbiome and the natural skin pH need to be considered when treating acne in all phases of treatment. They are highly interdependent and can be the root cause of the symptoms of acne. This article is not intended to be a comprehensive review of this subject matter but an introduction to the newer approaches to acne remediation.
Fundamentals of Healthy Skin
Acne is an inflammatory disease. Enough said, right? Hardly. Acne is notoriously difficult to treat because it is a multifactorial condition coupled with the fact that it is unique to each person and needs to be treated in a personalized way. If you are treating acne with a combination of benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and retinol, you may be successful but probably not for long. A good practioner looks for longer term solutions for their patients, not a quick fix.
Let’s examine some fundamentals of the root causes of acne to assess if we can mitigate or reduce the severity of the symptoms of acne without resorting to the three mainstay ingredient treatments of acne.
Here are the three fundamentals of healthy skin that you need to achieve before treatment starts:
- An intact barrier
- A balanced microbiome
- The Natural pH of the skin
As a matter of fact, establishing these three conditions in skin may normalize acneic skin in itself. These three properties of skin, when controlled in the proper way, can actually slow the progression of acne and reduce its severity in skin. Remember, control of one of these properties without the other may not achieve the optimal balance of what you are looking for. They are highly interdependent.