General Health

Microcomedones as the First Sign of Acne


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At about seven years of age there occurs a response of the body to an increased androgen circulation. With time androgens trigger changes in follicular keratinocytes and sebocytes. Eventually, such changes lead to the formation of so-called microcomedones – non-inflammatory lesions and the first acne signs. These lesions are really small, which explains where their name comes from. However, when sebum keeps building up behind the plug, a comedo starts enlarging and becomes visible.

How Does Acne Start with Microcomedones

MicrocomedonesAll types of acne begin with microcomedones, which appear under the skin and remain invisible for a very long period. How do they form and develop? Let’s explain things from the very beginning.

For most acne sufferers the condition is inherited. If a person is prone to acne, his pores clog with dead skin cells much faster than pores of other people of his age.

Healthy and acne-prone pores are influenced in different ways:

  • healthy pores shed a single layer of dead skin cells inside the pore every day;
  • acne-prone pores shed nearly 5-6 layers of dead skin cells inside the pore every day.

And as long as the body can hardly keep up with keeping such pores clean, the dead skin sells shed more quickly than pores can expel. With time they start accumulating inside pores. Sticky formations stuck inside pores and turn into a plug – microcomedone.

In most cases such formations aren’t problematic until they get trapped. Even if trapped bacteria are minor, they have a perfect nutrient – oil. Of course, some people can live with microcomedones without suffering from inflamed lesions, if inflammation is something they haven’t inherited.

When the trapped plug is inflamed, it turns into a whitehead or blackhead. In the first case the tip is colored white and isn’t painful. In the second one it is dark due to oxygen exposure. Blackheads are usually more infected.

Read about other Types of Comedones:

Can Microcomedones Be Prevented?

Yes, they can be prevented, yet the process must become more than just regular – it should be a lifestyle for those, who have acne-prone skin. We have gathered several types on how to prevent microcomedones and inflammation.

You’re welcome to use them to reduce skin-related problems:

  • leave your skin untouched and avoid overexposure to the sun;
  • treat your internal health problems as any skin inflammation is their reflection. When any disease is successfully treated, the skin benefits, too;
  • include more vitamins and minerals into daily ration: omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, vitamins B, C D and E, zinc and potassium, lecithin and chromium, beta-carotene, etc.

There are also many food-related tips. Herbs are considered to be extremely helpful while avoiding or treating acne. They are regarded as healing foods. The most beneficial foods and herbs to be included into your ration are burdock and basil, cloves and cleavers, pumpkin seed and garlic, lemon and onion, echinacea and lavender, rose and walnut, yellow dock and watercress, horsetail and cabbage, thyme and wheat germ.

Some healing foods and herbs can be applied externally: tea tree or licorice, sage or cucumber, goldenseal or horseweed, lavender or rosemary, lavender or eucalyptus.

It’s essential to keep in mind that you are what you eat. People with acne-prone skin should choose foods carefully, if they want avoid microcomedones. Choose more fresh vegetables and fruits instead of fried foods and fats, carbohydrates and white flour, sugar and junk food. Try and limit dairy products, chose products high in fiber and acne won’t be a problem of yours.