What is acne really?

Acne, also known as acne, or pimples, is a common chronic (as doctors believe) skin condition characterized by the formation of blackheads, comedones (black dots and whiteheads), papules, and pustules. It is caused by excessive sebum production from sebaceous glands, the skin lipids that lubricate the skin (Figure 1).

Schematic representation of the sebaceous gland and its infrastructure in the skin.
Figure 1: Schematic representation of the sebaceous gland and its infrastructure in the skin.

There is a popular understanding that acne is a problem of adolescents during puberty, but this is not entirely true, acne can occur in adults, in the elderly, can be from drugs (drug-induced acne), and even occurs in newborns ( neonatal acne, neonatal acne, neonatal acne) .

If you ask medical professionals about the causes of acne, you will hear the answer that they can be various. Someone will say for hormonal changes, someone for androgen receptor sensitivity, someone for bacterial infections, someone hereditary factors. But no one will tell you the specifics - the exact pathophysiology of acne.

Medics weren't taught it, and the professors who were, didn't understand a lot of it, and still don't to this day. I'm not being judgmental, but it's a fact. They were taught that there's a sebaceous gland, it accumulates lipids, it harbors bacteria. P.acnes.and the inflammatory process begins. It's a done deal. But if someone asked a question at the lecture - why the sebaceous gland accumulates lipids or why only P.acnes lives in the sebaceous glands, he would probably not hear a clear answer from the lecturer. I have also been to such lectures, for lecturers such topics are not profiled, etc. this is a common nuance of any education, but acne patients from this is not easier ....

Acne treatment usually involves the use of topical (external) medications, cosmetic dermatology procedures and lifestyle changes. However, anyone who has treated acne knows that it doesn't always help (girls before their first period, guys before their first stress), and sometimes it doesn't help at all. And such poor effectiveness leads to the idea that we need to look for the real causes of acne and more effective methods of treatment. This is the task I once set myself and successfully solved it.

I have come to the clear conclusion that acne (and possibly other skin problems like rosacea and dermatitis) is a skin detoxification problem. Yes, the skin is an organ. I did a detailed scientific article about it, but some "barricades" got in the way of publication :). As one smart person said - "Now the intelligent ones learn to speak so that the dumb ones can understand. If the dumb don't understand something, it's the intelligent's problem."

Laugh Now But One Day We'll Be In Charge.
Banksy's painting "Laugh now, but one day we will rule."

But be that as it may, I hope my publication on the true causes of acne will soon be seen by the world. That was a small lyrical digression, let's get to the point.

Pathophysiology of acne

Let me describe how to link all types of acne to detoxification problems. And information about methods of acne correction in my guides, I will not write about it openly.

And so, we know these basic types of acne:

  • Teenage acne
  • Neonatal acne
  • Adult acne
  • Chloracne (or acne from dioxins).

What all these acnes have in common is an increase in sebum secretion, or in other words, more sebum on the surface of the skin. This sebum is very much eaten by various organisms on the skin, from mites to bacteria and fungi. So the microflora factor on the skin is secondary. I don't consider it at all.

Teenage acne. They're going through puberty, which involves Increases in growth factors (e.g. IGF-1) and sex hormones (e.g. testosterone). Growth factors are responsible for the proliferation (division) of cells, including sebocytes (cells that create sebum) in the sebaceous glands, but the sex hormones are lipids synthesized within other glands in the body, that has to be disposed of from the body somehow. If not utilized, sex hormone metabolites are metabolized again (affecting tissues again).

In other words, people with teenage acne most often have such high levels of sex hormones that the organs of excretion (liver, intestines, kidneys) can't cope with the utilization, and the skin, specifically the sebaceous glands in it, begin to help them. That is why the skin of teenagers becomes oily, and it can wind up with bad microflora, which in sum leads to acne. That is why any strain on the liver and the intestines leads to acne exacerbation. Hence the dietary recommendations for acne. Any fatty foods/alcohol/toxins give acne exacerbation in violation of lipid utilization by the body. These are not causes of acne, but contributing factors.

Neonatal acne. There is a popular belief that newborn acne is the influence of androgens in the womb. This is partly true, in the womb the fetus is influenced by various factors including lipid hormones, lipid toxins etc. etc. etc. This is actually bad and possibly leads to deviations in the child in private cases..... However, neonatal acne can appear sometime after birththere's a factor that comes after birth.

The answer is quite simple, the mother of the child starts breastfeeding, and all sorts of lipid substances enter the body with the mother's milk. Some people, for example, allow the mother to take l-thyroxine while breastfeeding. I've seen an endocrinologist write that it is possible, protocols allow it, it's dark in a word... Or the mother already had some hormonal disorders that led to an increase in hormones in the milk. Or there was some kind of diet. In any case, the excretory organs of the child can not cope with such a load, the skin and its sebaceous glands to withdraw these substances. Neonatal acne happens. This acne can even be affected by poor-quality clothes of the child or dishes. After all, such products can be bisphenols, which get into the body transdermally in pico doses, which are quite enough for the metabolism of the child.

Adult acne. These people are usually OK with their hormones, but have chronic acne. Also, acne is usually not only on the face but also on the back. The causes here are the same as in the previous paragraphs, but it should be established what gives intoxication of the body. It may be bad habits (eg, vape, bad food), it may be the environment (do not buy housing near roads with high traffic), it may be diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (namely violation of bile flow and permeability of intestinal tissues). There are many factors that disrupt lipid metabolism, but they should be established by diagnosis or the method of poke, excluding different options (I realize that diagnostic methods are often limited).

Chloracne. This terrible acne usually occurs in workers of factories that deal with dioxins. A vivid example of such acne was V. Yushchenko, after he was poisoned by Chekists who put dioxins in his food. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin or TCDD. Chloracne is in fact a vivid confirmation of what I said - the skin activates the sebaceous glands to get rid of toxins. However, in case of contact with dioxins there is not just activation of sebaceous glands, but also accelerated proliferation of their sebocytes, i.e. sebaceous glands greatly increase in size. Hence the cystic picture of such acne.

Molecular pathways of acne

In addition to ordinary people, I am also read by experts. I think they want details in terms of the molecular cascades that trigger the detoxification I'm writing about. No problem, I'll tell you that you need to pay attention to lipid-activated transcription factors. For example, these are AHR (aryl hydrocarbon receptor), farnesoid X receptor (FXR), liver X receptor (LXR), pregnan X receptor (PXR), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha). All of these receptors have lipid ligands. Activation of these receptors leads to the triggering of detoxification phases in different cells, and in sebocytes leads to sebum accumulation. As a matter of fact, the research of these receptors has prompted me to solve the problem of acne pathophysiology.

Of course, these receptors have long signaling pathways, and a failure somewhere in the chain can also cause acne, even without special factors from outside. For example, there are polymorphisms in the genes of the receptors described above, as well as polymorphisms in the genes of intracellular enzymes that are activated through lipid-activated transcription factors (Gilbert's syndrome is a prime example).

Acne treatment

If a person has a lot of inflammatory elements, the first thing to do is to suppress this inflammation with antibiotics. Further, all treatment should be aimed at improving detoxification in the GI tract and in the skin, and any abnormalities in terms of excessive lipid hormone secretion should be eliminated. No cosmetics are needed for this! Getting rid of acne with this approach can take anywhere from 3 months to a year. Full instructions are in my guides.