Acne is a result of an imbalance of two or
more factors in skin physiology relating to the sebaceous gland and duct
system. When our body physiology is working properly, small amounts of oil
(called sebum) are produced in the sebaceous glands in the dermis or
deeper part of the skin. These sebaceous glands share a duct or tubule
that goes to the skin with a small hair. When either too much oil is
produced or blockage of the tubule preventing the escape of oil occurs,
the net result is acne. The most common causes of acne are an increased
production of sebaceous material due to hormone imbalance or side effects
of stress that cause an overproduction of sebaceous material.
However, almost always with the occurrence
of acne, there is also a related phenomenon called retention keratosis.
These two big words actually refer to the lining cells of the sebaceous
duct not shedding properly and staying in place for a longer period of
time. This builds up like rust in a pipe until the duct is closed or
blocked. When this happens, it sets events occurring that proceed to
inflammation or an irritation underneath the surface of the skin. If one
imagines that the sebaceous duct were a small stream that got plugged up,
it causes a backup of everything upstream from the direction of
Another factor is the presence of several
different types of skin bacteria that normally don’t cause acne.
However, when trapped beneath the skin, the bacteria begin to react
chemically with the sebaceous material causing it to break down into free
fatty acids. Free fatty acids are quite irritating to the deeper structure
of the skin and result in inflammation and causes acne breakouts.
The first signs are redness, firmness,
swelling, tenderness, and heat. On about the second or third day of
inflammation, white blood cells increase in the area attempting to digest
the bacteria and rid the body of them. This results in the formation of
pustules and even more irritation extending sideways beneath the surface
of the skin.
Eating chocolate does not cause acne. The
only way for chocolate to cause acne would be to rub chocolate on the skin
until it clogs the pores, causing a mechanical blockage of the pore
openings. Then you could legitimately say that chocolate causes acne. Some
studies in the past indicated perhaps that excess amounts of some
iodine-containing foods, such as shellfish, could influence the severity
of acne. This has been questioned by a number of other recent studies. Our
recommendation is to eat, drink and be merry in moderation. Until these
studies prove us wrong, we cannot say that chocolate causes acne.
Stress is not one of the causes of acne per
se. Stress does stimulate our body enzyme and immune systems to cause a
stimulation of the oil glands. It has been proven that lowering stress
levels certainly can help to decrease oil production, and thus decrease
the symptoms of acne.
Fried foods have not shown to be related to
the causes of acne. In fact, there aren’t any specific foods that cause
acne. Of course, skin health is directly related to a well balanced diet,
adequate rest and general personal cleanliness. Many people have told me
that a good order of tasty french fries properly cooked seemed to lower
their stress level.
Cystic acne does not begin as
"cysts." This designation is given (Grade IV acne) after cysts
have formed. The acne lesions in this form begin like all acne lesions and
have the same factors involved. Specifically, there is an over production
of sebaceous secretion, wax-like plugging of the hair follicle/sebaceous
duct that traps a mix of bacteria (including P. Acne, S. Aureus, S.
Epidermitis, and other surface flora).
This anaerobic environment is favorable for
bacteria to multiply and cause the inflammatory process to commence.
Bacterial enzymes proceed to break down the triglyceride lipids in sebum
into free fatty acids. The body's normal response to this inflammation is
to congregate white blood cells to combat the bacteria overgrowth leading
to pustular/liquid debris.
At this point in time, cysts have not
formed yet, but those individuals predisposed to cystic formation have a
spreading to lateral and sub dermal areas outside the follicle. In
patients with existing cystic acne, Reversion works quite well to prevent
new lesions prior to cyst formation. After cystic acne has formed and
developed walled-off spaces, surgical drainage is usually necessary along
with systemic antibiotics to heal the bacterial infection and cyst/sinus
From a medical standpoint, one who gets
acne has a combination of factors working in concert. Two or more factors
can cause a condition based on the anatomy and physiology of the skin
itself to promote an inflammatory response that we call acne. The factors
of getting acne include:
Increased oil - either production by the
sebaceous glands or added (in makeup etc.)
Retention Keratosis - skin cells that
are not shed properly and plug sebaceous ducts
Trapped bacteria under the skin's
surface - normally present and harmless as they are on the
Genetics can play a part in getting acne
because our genetic blueprint does influence thickness of skin, oily
tendencies of the skin and basic hormone responses. However, just because
your parents or other family members have acne, it does not necessarily
mean that you will too.
Getting acne usually occurs in the teenage
years may even appear a few days after birth. But, this is more often
related to increased activity in the hormone processes within the skin and
generally disappears relatively quickly. People can also develop adult
acne, which in most cases is caused by hormonal changes. Although there
are many different causes of acne, the same basic factors of plugging an
oil gland occur in the development of the inflammatory process that causes
Every ethnic group may experience the
effects of acne because the genetic component is always present. Each
person's family tree has some effect upon his or her chances of suffering
from acne. For example, skin type and thickness are often hereditary
components that play a large role in whether or not the skin will be
People with light complexions usually have
thinner, dryer skin and are generally less likely to experience serious
cases of acne. Other factors such as sun exposure, makeup and skin care
products used may influence breakouts of acne as well.
Interestingly enough, anyone you ask about
the severity of their acne feels they have the worst acne in the world. In
actuality, men usually have more problems with scarring in the long term
with acne because they have more oily-prone skin and certainly skin that
is of a thicker nature. When an infected acne lesion occurs in a man's
skin, the sheer thickness of skin and the factors involved in the healing
process often delay healing, which may lead to more permanent, visible
On the other hand, women experience more
changes in their sex hormone concentrations due to monthly cycles. As a
result, women are more likely to have acne at a certain age or at certain
times than men. Both women and men have a higher risk of getting acne in
the teenage or active hormone years than do men or women over age 30.
It is becoming more and more common for
young women who had no problem during teen years to develop adult acne
between ages 30-35. There are probably many reasons. One significant
reason is related to the use of birth control pills.
Birth control pills utilize two hormone
groups that are synthetically made to mimic the ovarian cycle/ovulation
processes that are normally at work only during pregnancy. Specifically,
birth control pills trick the ovaries into thinking that the lady is
already pregnant, so ovulation does not occur. These synthetic hormones in
most birth control pills have strong Androgenic (male hormone) side
effects upon sebaceous gland production of oil in the skin, often causing
oil production to increase.
Another possible reason for getting acne at
the age of 30 might relate to hormone adjustments after a pregnancy,
nursing a child, or simply experiencing the stressful lifestyle so
prevalent today with all the demands and time limits we impose on
Men can also still have acne symptoms at
age 30, although it is unlikely that adult acne will develop then for the
first time. We are all still subjected to stress, and some men may skip
the gentle cleansing of facial areas after sports, etc., causing acne to
occur. So adult acne can still be a problem.
Will Reversion cure adult acne? Yes! Many
men and women, who have experienced acne as children, can still benefit
from the Reversion Acne Control System. Some people assume that expensive
prescriptions are required to cure adult acne but our two-part system is
guaranteed to improve all forms of acne.
If your mom had acne you may have a higher
likelihood of getting acne at some time in your life. Although acne is not
hereditary, it is possible for us to inherit our "skin type"
from our parents. If your mom or dad has oily skin and large pores, it is
more likely that you will have breakouts than if both parents have normal,
clear skin. Don't despair, though; taking good care of your skin and
eating a healthy diet will greatly improve you chances of being acne-free!
Progesterone and strogen are the two
ovarian hormones related to menstrual cycles. During this time of the
month, the changing concentrations of these two hormones cause side
effects like acne to occur. As your body moves through its cycle, estrogen
produces androgenic (male hormone) side effects that stimulate oil gland
activity in your skin, which frequently leads to a breakout.
If you suffer from severe breakouts during
your cycle, there are some treatment options for you. Ortho Tricyclen is
taken as a birth control pill that was also designed for the treatment of
acne. Ortho Tricyclen is a prescription drug but may be obtained through
your gynecologist, family physician, or dermatologist.
If birth control pills are not the solution
you are looking for to clear your acne, Reversion Acne Control can help.
Reversion can be used to treat monthly breakouts associated with your
period and is safe for use on sensitive skin.
Hormones play an indirect but active part
in acne. Male hormones have a greater effect on excess oil production that
can cause acne than do female hormones. It is important to note that male
hormones and female hormones of the ovarian type are very similar in their
structural configuration. Because the hormones released during women's
monthly cycles are structurally similar to male hormones, oil gland
activity and formation of acne can result.
Will Acne Get Better
or Worse During Pregnancy and Is It Safe To Use the Reversion Acne Control
System While I'm Pregnant?
The process of pregnancy also involves
shifts in female hormones that can cause acne problems, although some
women experience clearer skin during pregnancy. Acne frequently becomes
worse shortly after pregnancy, especially if nursing continues, but
usually improves greatly as soon as regular ovarian cycles begin again.
The Reversion Acne Medication should not be
used while you are pregnant or lactating.
Squeezing or picking at acne lesions
definitely will make them worse. There is also an increased chance that
you will spread the bacteria trapped in those papules and pustules by
popping or poking your blemishes.
Acne scarring and permanent discoloration
are also very unpleasant results of pinching your acne lesions. Although
it seems like you are doing the best thing by removing the debris from
your blocked pore, you are actually doing more harm than good.
Using a dirty washcloth does not cause
acne. However, if you have acne and then repeatedly use the same unclean
washcloth for cleansing, the bacteria that remains on the cloth may spread
and cause new breakouts and could possibly make your existing breakouts
We recommend that you launder your
washcloths at least every other day. It is also helpful to wash other
items frequently that come into contact with your acne, such as
pillowcases, sheets, and comforters.
More than likely, if you are a teenager
going through puberty, when male or female hormones are still changing
randomly and haphazardly, your acne will go away when hormone levels
become more consistent.
During pregnancy, it is also very common
for acne problems to become more prominent and suddenly, after pregnancy,
seem to disappear. This again is related to hormonal changes related to
normal body physiology.
Most patients who suffer from acne as
teenagers can expect acne to become less active in their mid to late 20's
as hormone levels become more consistent and teen stress begins to
subside. However, 30% of adults do continue to suffer from acne, making it
important for them to find the best acne treatment available. Reversion
Acne Control can help those who suffer from adult acne by presenting a
long term solution to acne breakouts.
There has always been the old myth that
"sunning" your skin will clear up your breakouts, but actually
the opposite is true. Dr. James Beckman, the creator of Reversion, says,
"Sunlight itself can cause an increased production of skin oils,
which may actually make acne worse."
Exposure to small amounts of sun is
certainly healthy. Sunlight is necessary for certain vitamins, like
Vitamin D, to function. But don't forget the sunscreen! Knowing the damage
that sun exposure can wreak on your skin, you should protect yourself as
much as possible by wearing a sunscreen of at least SPF 15 every day. Not
only does your face need protection, but your body's skin is just as
susceptible to skin damage, making it important for you to wear an SPF 15
on all exposed body parts.
There are various types of facial scrubs,
but all share the property of being abrasive. One type of scrub is made
from small particles such as ground fruit seeds or other vegetable
material. They are designed to act like miniature sandpaper particles to
remove dead skin cells from the skin surface. While facial scrubs might
succeed in removing waxy blackhead plugs, the skin surface is left
abraded, raw, or at least irritated. This irritation leads to inflammation
and then sets the stage for making acne worse and often becoming more
Another type of facial scrub is made from
synthetic materials in the form of a cloth or pad such as “buff-Puff”
TM. Frequently, the companies that make these materials claim that they
will gently exfoliate dead skin cells, so we tend to use them over and
over. In between uses, these scrub pads are usually placed in the shower
soap dish or some other warm, moist place. These conditions make an ideal
culture medium for bacteria from the "exfoliated skin" to
multiply overnight. The next time the scrub is used, acne breakouts can be
Charcoal masks have been reported by some
to be helpful in decreasing oiliness. Oatmeal masks likewise may be quite
helpful. However, while many people attempt to get rid of acne by
excessively drying their skin, this acne treatment method will only cause
your skin to produce more oil. The key is to attempt to reach a state
where your skin maintains a healthy, balanced level of oil that will
conserve the softness of your skin without contributing to clogged pores.
The Reversion Acne Control System is the best treatment for controlling
acne because it helps your skin maintain its optimal moisture level.
Salicylic acid is an organic acid. It was
originally discovered by American Indians in the bark and leaves of
certain trees. That particular form of salicylic acid was acetyl salicylic
acid. It was known and passed down for generations that when the bark was
chewed, headaches or other inflammatory processes actually improved. We
know acetyl salicylic acid today as the drug aspirin.
The salicylic acid used for acne treatment
is actually a higher concentration than would be found in nature. Its
usefulness in acne control is that it promotes exfoliation of the skin
surface cells, and in particular the cells lining the sebaceous ducts.
Topical application of salicylic acid on a daily basis in low (1-2%)
concentration promotes regular, even exfoliation that minimizes the
plugging of follicles.
In more concentrated forms (15-20%),
salicylic acid acts as a peeling agent. This is normally reserved for
application by an aesthetician, nurse or physician in an office setting.
This procedure allows a more rapid removal of the foreign material so that
scarring does not occur.
Acne is a skin condition and certainly is
not contagious to your friends or family. However, if you pick or squeeze
an acne lesion with your fingernails and then scratch another area, you
can contaminate a non-infected sebaceous duct with bacteria-infected
material and cause a new lesion to arise.
Using the general principles of washing
both hands and face on a regular basis and not picking at acne lesions
will help you prevent acne.
The principle reason for blackheads (or
whiteheads) forming is the condition called "retention keratosis."
This is when the dry dead skin cells don't turn loose and shed from the
skin surface. These dead cells also line the walls of the sebaceous
follicles in the skin that normally are the outlet for oil to be secreted
out onto the skin. This mix of dead cells and thick sebaceous wax makes a
cap over the opening of the oil duct and forms a waxy plug that is
In order for this plug to be washed away or
easily removed, one must use an exfoliant on the surface of the skin such
as the Reversion Acne Medication. The exfoliation process loosens the
"glue-like" plug adhesions. Sometimes the plugs are so stubborn
that treating them with mechanical removal, chemical peels or
microdermabrasion performed by a skin care specialist is needed to remove
them effectively and prevent the development of acne. This should help to
open the clogged pores as well as to improve the acne scars.
Actually, to describe what non-comedogenic
means would require an explanation of what comedogenic means. A comedone
is a plugged sebaceous follicle containing sebaceous material, which is
epithelial cell debris that prevents this material from getting to the
external surface of the skin.
Non-comedogenic refers to products that,
when put on the skin, do not plug the oil glands. Look for this label
description on products such as makeup, foundation, and moisturizers.
These products and the formulation of them allow very easy removal with
gentle cleansing. Be sure to use non-comedogenic products when treating
What Are The Pros and
Cons of Accutane™ and Other Prescription Drugs?
Prescription acne medications might be
necessary to control acne in some cases. Accutane is a very serious acne
treatment that acts by interfering with the cells that actually produce
skin oil. In several studies it has been able to cut oil production by
80%. Unfortunately, because Accutane is taken internally, it affects many
other cells in the body. It often will cause mucosal surfaces to become
dry, cracked and even to bleed. This includes lips, mouth, eyes, vaginal,
and urinary tract linings.
Accutane has caused significant birth
defects during pregnancy from taking only one dose! For this reason, the
FDA mandates that pregnancy testing be done for any female of childbearing
age before starting usage of Accutane and at intervals during usage.
Accutane can also have significant harmful
effects on the liver, and liver function tests must be done monthly while
taking the drug. These tests, along with visits to the doctor's office and
the cost of the drug itself, may cost $400-$1200 for 2-3 months use. Even
with all of these negative effects, Accutane is still useful for some
patients to control the worst cases of acne and to prevent deep
Retin A is chemically similar to Accutane
but is used topically on the skin for acne treatment and also to repair
sun damage. It does not involve the same degree of health concerns but it
still has troublesome side effects such as irritation, itching, redness,
and flaking of the skin area where used. It also requires a prescription
but can be useful in treating some cases of acne.
Antibiotics taken orally may be of great
benefit when taken for 2-3 weeks to control serious pustular acne
breakouts. They should not be taken continuously for long periods.
Topically applied antibiotics such as Cleocin Tea or erythromycin liquids
are almost sure to cause a development of resistant bacteria on the skin
that will make acne control more difficult.
Prescription acne remedies have a place in
acne treatment for some cases. They are costly, always have side effects,
and should be used only when less drastic measures have not been
successful in controlling acne.
Fortunately, the Reversion Acne Control
System is very effective in controlling the majority of acne problems in
nearly all patients and is able to do this in the least costly way.
Because acne is not a disease but a skin
condition, it is possible for it to occur anywhere on the body surface
that has sebaceous glands. Obviously, there are some areas void of these
oil glands, such as the palms, the soles of the feet and, interestingly
enough, eyelid skin. These areas have sweat glands, but they are eccrine
or water glands rather than sebaceous or oil glands.
Acne mechanica is a condition that occurs
with athletes especially, such as football players in the hot summer
months that wear shoulder pads or clothing that rubs continually on skin
that is exposed to dust, perspiration, etc. Traditional acne does commonly
occur on the chest, the back, arms and legs.
Any chronic wound or delayed healing
process in the skin will cause scarring, whether it be from a surgical
wound with complications, an embedded splinter that takes days, weeks or
months to work its way out, or an acne pustule that cannot heal.
If acne persists for several weeks as a
pustule or infected area that cannot heal because of fluid being trapped
under the skin, the probability of scarring increases. It is for this
reason that dermatologists sometimes extract comedones or sebaceous plugs
in follicles. This procedure is done in order to open the outlet for
debris to exit the skin. In cases of deep cystic acne, a physician might
actually incise and drain the acne lesion to minimize future
Using an acne treatment product that
controls acne in its early stages to prevent the formation of fluid-filled
pockets is the best way to prevent permanent scarring from acne.
If I Have Acne Now,
Can I Minimize Permanent Scarring?
Although you might already have some
permanent acne scars, you should be able to minimize the development of
any new scars. Some important acne tips are: As soon as a new breakout
lesion begins, start to control its progression by administering acne
medication. Don’t pick or squeeze. Use the Reversion Acne Control System
twice daily. Remember that fluid filled or pustule lesions cannot heal
until the fluid is gone. This may require an antibiotic, a chemical peel,
or even mechanical extraction by a skin care professional. Get plenty of
rest and drink 8 glasses of water each day. Start taking an oral
antibiotic early if pustular lesions develop and persist for more than 2-3
There are several very good products
available to cover the discoloration/blemish from acne. You might have
noticed that purple or red colors are almost impossible to camouflage. To
get the best concealer for acne lesions, it is important to find a product
that closely matches your natural skin tone and does not clog your
Iredale Mineral Cosmetics carries a
wonderful product that is an extremely fine powder of micro-pulverized
rock or mineral. It comes in different colors to match normal skin tones.
This product contains no oil or talcum, and provides up to SPF-60 sun
protection factor from UVA and UVB rays.
A second product that covers blemishes
quite well is called "Total Block." This is a liquid used to
cover the entire facial area. It has some pigment that can be added to
balance out normal skin tones. This product works well for covering
blemishes and it has an excellent sun protection factor, although it may
have some oiliness. More information can be found at www.totalblock.com.
If I Stop Using Acne
Medication, Will My Acne Return?
Many factors cause acne, including genetic
predisposition, oil production, and hormone levels. The factors in life
that cause a person to get acne will probably remain essentially
unchanged. If an acne medication has been successful in controlling
breakouts and then is no longer used, the acne certainly won’t instantly
return. However, over time the factors and conditions that cause acne can
once again become optimal for acne breakouts. Unless other changes occur
in life, some of those skin condition factors may cause acne to
The good news is that those medications
that previously worked well in controlling acne should work well again.
statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.
The products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or
prevent any disease. Always see your licensed health care professional for
proper diagnosis and treatment.
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(International) 916-772-5214 1079 Sunrise Ave.
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