Acne prone skin, once largely the preserve of teenagers, is an increasing issue for all ages. Put simply, sebum production is abnormally high in the acne sufferer. Follicular hyperkeratosis (excess dead skin cells) restricts the oil emerging onto the skin, and it gets trapped in the follicle, where it changes into the cheesy substance that we all(!) love to squeeze out of our blackheads. If this remains trapped, oil will pool, and the bacteria P acnes will breed. Our immune response is triggered, leading to pus formation and inflammation. Pus will generally escape onto the skin, but if it’s too deep, it may lead to nodules and eventually burst, damaging collagen and causing scarring.
I’m late! I KNOW I need to start my winter skin care regime, and I’m sat typing these words whilst desperately wanting to scratch my irritated face to ribbons. Unseasonably warm days have caused many of us to delay this year, but the central heating is drying out our skin indoors. When we step outside in the cold, the small blood vessels in our skin shrink to conserve heat. Reduced blood flow causes the outer layers of the skin to become dry and dull, and slows cell turnover leading to flakes, cracks and in extreme cases dermatitis (particularly peri orbitally, around the mouth).Continue reading