Your skin has three layers:
Hypodermis (Subcutaneous tissue) – which is the bottom layer.
Dermis– the middle layer, where much of your skin’s work is done.
Epidermis – top layer, which is what you see every day in the mirror.
1. Hypodermis (Foundation)
Hypodermis regulates body temperature.
It has the unique composition of mostly body fat tissue.
It is also a crucial assistant when you get injured because it helps the veins deliver white cells more efficiently to the cite of injury.
Another cool function of it is that part of the lymphatic system passes through. The lymphatic system is kinda the master cleaner of junk in your body.
Last but not least the nerves of your hair follicles root here.
But how acne forms so deep, it sounds crazy! Yes, acne does not form directly so far down in your skin. But you are a smart guy and you will figure out that taking care of the foundation makes the whole house stronger… or should I say less “acnier”?
The next skin layer though is where the acne starts to form and the where most of the action happens. It’s the grandmaster.
2. Dermis (Walls and Rooms)
Controls receptors for touch, heat, & cold.
Collagen is its main substance, which keeps your skin strong and together.
Elastic fibers are present, which makes your skin elastic.
Hair follicles are created here.
Contains the foundation of our nails.
Contains the famous Sweat Glands, which control your sweat.
Contains the Sebaceous Glands secrete the sebum – a lubricating oily matter. It goes into the hair follicles to lubricate your skin and hair.
Most of the lymphatic vessels (clean the junk) are working here.
Blood vessels are small in size and numbers here.
3. Epidermis (Roof)
This is where you apply all these nasty creams filled with chemicals. (Choose better products for your skin!)
This layer is the graveyard of so many dead skin cells. From the dermis and the epidermis itself. But does it mean that we should behave with it like a piece of junk? Is it related to acne or is it another obstacle to the solution? How can you get through this layer and fight acne in its home basis, the dermis?
Sounds cool? But that’s not all of it! Zombie warrior cells do much more for your Majesty. They defend your skin and consequently your connective tissue and veins from outside foreign invaders that try to find a way to get in your body.
This firewall of zombie skin cells is what keeps you healthy from multiple infections. Scientists thought for years that it is just useless junk, but that’s far from true. They communicate with each other and keep your “city’s wall” strong so that other “guys” inside the “walls” can do their job effectively.
What Is The Connection Between Acne And Skin?
Your hair follicles along with the attached sebaceous glands form the pilosebaceous units (PU). When those units (PU) get messy, acne forms. The sebaceous glands form the sebum, an oily substance which usually escapes from the hair follicle to the epidermis skin surface through the pore. Pore is a canal that helps with that way out.
Acne is created when androgen-induced sebum “cooperates” with dead hair follicle cells called keratin cells. Keratin cells are the building blocks of the hair folicle walls. Together, sebum and dead keratin cells (weird huh?) block the passage and give the opportunity to Propionibacterium acnes to grow massively.
When we say massively we mean it. Another word could be hypergrowth. That hypergrowth cause your PU’s to get inflammed like a house on fire. When a house is on fire (I hope not yours!) firefighters join the fight. These firefighters in our skin example are your white blood cells. These fighters stop bacteria growth, but in the process of doing that, there are casualties. Some of them die.
The mixture of your dead white blood warriors with the bad bacteria, all flowing inside oily sebum… that’s your acne pimple.
Two Glands To Remember
A sweat pore connects with a sweat gland – which produces sweat.
A hair follicle pore connects with sebaceous gland – which produces sebum (we are going to explain soon).
What are sweat glands?
Sweat helps to moisturize your skin. Most noteworthy, it maintains the chemical balance needed for your skin to be protected from invaders, like viruses and bacteria.
What are sebaceous glands?
Acne forms in the sebaceous gland pore, which is the “hole” beginning from the origins of your hair follicle and reaches the surface of your skin.
How Acne Forms In The Dermis
The hair follicle becomes red and inflamed from these tiny blood vessels damages. It swells and then bursts apart. Your skin tissue does swell as well (rime?) because your body tries to fight these rebel bacteria with your Spartan-like defensive cells, called white blood cells.
These defensive warriors of yours fight back the bacteria and clean up the mess.
But wait? When does my acne pimple form exactly? In what stage of the battle?
Your acne pimple is white, right? That so because some of your white blood cells soldiers died in this battle and ultimately bacteria have conquered this castle of yours. Sorry. You should bring reinforcements, but you didn’t. We will talk in another episode about these reinforcements.
There are even lost battles where bacteria behave like barbarians. They burn the “city” to its grounds. That’s when your dermis layer becomes so inflamed that your skin texture (“matrix”) alters permanently. The so-called acne scar. It can help you look like Rambo’s face after a fight with knives, but is it worth it? I don’t think so.
And there you have it, folks! Beginning with an AND is no good idea if you want to win the Nobel Literature, but nor is a good idea to keep your skin damaged and inflamed! You learned the basics of how acne forms in your skin!
Don’t forget to share this article with a friend of yours that is concerned about acne. We wrapped all these details into a fast-to-read infographic, you guys should check it out because it is a fast way to remember the key points of this article!