Eli5: Why do we have acne? How can the body not take care of it?

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Eli5: Why do we have acne? How can the body not take care of it?

In: Biology

They’re immune responses triggered by tiny infections.

The pus and swelling are the body taking care of it.

Clean skin reduces the risk of infection, and therefore less acne.

Acne is caused by a bacterial infection in the pores of the skin, the pus is a result of your immune system fighting off the infection. So technically acne isn’t the problem, it is the result of your body handling it.

If left alone acne takes care of itself eventually.

The underlying cause is usually an excess of oil on your skin which feeds the bacteria and causes your pores to be clogged. So modifying your hygiene and routine can reduce outbreaks significantly in most people.

On a microscopic level, flakes of dry skin fall into pores which naturally produce sebum (oil) to clean the skin. These pores swell up with sebum which now can’t flow out. Bacteria which lives on the skin and which is normally harmless, gathers at these pores to try and consume the sebum. The body senses this and sends infection-fighting blood underneath the skin’s surface to the sites of bacteria. As the blood is trapped under the surface and can’t reach the bacteria, this causes redness and swelling.