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Transcript of “Acne unplugged – the biology behind those pimple eruptions”
So what is going on ?
Throwing a pool party
How do you wake up one morning with a giant pimple on your nose ?
Simple, YOU NEED TO THROW A POOL PARTY.
Not that kind of pool. The kind of pool you find on your skin. This is what the pores look like normally. Not too appealing.
But….. under the “right” circumstances, the pool fills ups and becomes a happening place.
You are invited….
The story begins when insulin arrives. Now you might be wondering, what is insulin is doing in skin pores. To be honest, insulin is not all that sure either. Blood insulin levels rise when you develop insulin resistance and it is this, that allows insulin to pop into the pores of your skin
Now insulin’s main job is actually to store nutrients…. insulin is a hormone that makes you fat ! A little confused, the insulin summons one of its side kicks, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 is a mitogen, which means it causes tissues to grow in general and skin cells are no exception.
Too much of a good thing
So the more insulin that is around, the more the skin grows – this sounds good in principle but, the trouble that extra growth, can potentially block the sebaceous follicles. Blocked sebaceous follicles are step 1 in pimple formation. The sebum does not leave, the way it is supposed to.
A great party needs some muscle
Insulin and IGF-1 invite some heavy weights to the pool. nsulin does this by encouraging the ovary (in women) and testes (in men) to make more male hormone, so there is a lot more around.
But, in addition, escalating production, insulin also stops the production of sex hormone binding globulin by the liver. This interferes with the movement sex hormones about the body.
The combined result is skin pore is awash with androgens.
So step 2 in pimple formation has kicked in – extra male hormones mean more skin oil or sebum.
It doesn’t take too long …………to fill up the pool.
All it takes is a bacteria trying to cool off
Propionoibacterium acnes can’t resist the oil pools. It pops in for a quick dip and soon there is a pool party going on with hundreds of bacteria splashing about.
PARTY ! PARTY !
Shutting down the party
The neighbours complain and call the police to shut down the party.
But the bacteria don’t go quietly, so the immune system needs to use force. In the process, things turn red hot and ugly. The end result a huge bright red carbuncle, which is not only horrific to look at but damn sore too.
The pool party is eventually shut down. The force of the intervention though leaves lots of little bodies in its wake and so, the pimple changes from a red hot fiery mountain, to yellow wasteland, filled with pus.
So if you don’t want to look like a spotty ogre – you need to prevent the pool party from happening.
So how would you stop a pool party ?
Well one strategy would be to make sure no one gets near the pool – this is the thinking behind scrubbing your face regularly. Keeping everything squeaky clean, so the bacteria can’t get near the pool, should limit the number of pool parties that happen.
And using an antiseptic soap, can make this strategy even more effective.
When the force is with you
Sometimes this idea is taken one step further and a little bit more force is applied.
Anyone who looks suspicious and might stop by the pool for a swim, is exterminated. Swallowing antibiotics or using creams which contain antibiotics, pretty much work this way. The antibiotic kills every bacteria in sight, so there is no one around, the pools are absolutely deserted. But other body parts may also end up deserted in the process, which can lead to more troubles further down the line.
Draining the pool
The second strategy is to drain the pool i.e. remove all the oil. This is the thinking behind most of the products that treat acne on the market today, including the infamous Roaccutane®.
A final strategy is to stop excess oil production in the first place, by targeting those hormone imbalances. Therapies usually focus on getting the sex hormones balanced, because too much male hormone or androgens, is causing the oil wells to run. This is what oral contraceptives do when they are prescribed to treat acne.
Let’s just remember how this ALL STARTED.
Too much insulin.
To avoid spots without spending a fortune
So to avoid spots without spending a fortune, this is the guy you need to rein in. And it’s easy to do, insulin levels correspond to what you are eating.
So if you can rein in the insulin, you don’t need expensive soaps, ordinary soap and water will keep the levels of the Propionibacterium acnes levels low. The few that manages to stop by, won’t want to stay because the pools will be empty.
Beating pimples, begins with Better Body Chemistry.
|How to avoid spots without spending a fortune||Acne happens when a wild pool party is curtailed by security||The dirt behind sinusitis|
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