Clogged pores have been misrepresented as a type of acne. While acne doesn’t occur without pores first being clogged, clogged pores and acne are two different skin conditions. Clogged pores don’t automatically lead to acne.
Clogged pores are caused by a combination of excessive oil produced by the sebaceous glands, dirt, and dead skin cells. Acne, however, includes all these factors, plus a bacterial infection. Without this infection, clogged pores can create other skin conditions, none of which necessarily lead to acne.
Clogged pores can cause blackheads — when your hair follicles become overstretched and clogged with excess sebum (oil created by the sebaceous glands that keeps skin supple) and dead skin cells. Because the hair follicles are overstretched air enters and mixes with the oil and dirt, causing a chemical reaction that turns the follicles black.
It’s important to note that blackheads are not caused by dirt. So, scrubbing your face excessively will not only not get rid of the blackheads, but it will exacerbate the condition; drying out your skin, which will cause more oil to be created to make up for everything you stripped away, and…well it’s a vicious cycle.
Clogged pores also causes whiteheads, but unlike blackheads, the hair follicles are not overstretched, thereby no chemical reaction takes place because there is no room for air to enter the follicle. Blackheads occur on the skin, whiteheads occur under the skin.
Acne is caused by a combination of excessive production of sebum, clogged pores and by Propionibacterium acnes. While some of the strains of this bacteria is beneficial to keeping skin healthy, six strains have been found consistently on acne-prone skin. When an excessive amount of oil clogs pores, it creates a breeding ground for the acne-causing strains of bacteria. When the body cannot successfully win the fight against this bacterial infection, it leads to inflammation which ultimately turns into acne.
Like with treating acne, successfully treating clogged pores will require a customized approach. What works for one person’s clogged pores may or may not work for you because everyone’s skin is different.
Chemical peels are good way to prevent pores from clogging and refresh your skin. Using agents such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid, Chemical Peels gently exfoliate the skin by removing damaged outer layers, including oils, dead cells, and other debris that build up over time.
At Wake Health Medical Group in Raleigh, we believe in creating customized care programs and treatments for all skin types and challenges to help our clients look and feel their best. Call us today at (919) 554-6754 or schedule a consultation online to find a skin treatment right for you!