Body Armor - Your skin is the ultimate defender, an external organ that forms a barrier to protect your internal organs against dangers such as bacteria, and harmful UV sunlight. Your skin also plays a key role by regulating your body temperature. Basically, your skin keeps the inside of your body inside your body, while keeping what's outside of your body outside. And that's a good thing.
It's All About Layers - The skin is made up of a thin outer layer (called the epidermis) and a thicker inner layer (called the dermis). Below the dermis is the subcutaneous tissue, which contains fat. And, trust us…it's the good kind! The subcutaneous tissue helps to conserve the body's heat while protecting other organs from injury by acting as a "shock absorber."
Buried in the skin are nerves that sense cold, heat, pain, pressure, and touch. The skin's sebaceous glands secrete sebum (say that 10 times fast!), a lubricating substance or oil that provides an effective barrier against the growth of bacteria. Deep within the skin are your sweat glands, which produce perspiration when you are too hot.
Spots Truths - So, now that you're up to speed on your basic skin facts, let's talk Spots ...
There are many factors that contribute to the formation of spots. These include:
- Overproduction of oil (sebum)
- Irregular shedding of dead skin cells, resulting in irritation of the skin's hair follicles
- Buildup of bacteria
Spots occur when oil and dead skin cells block your hair follicles. Each follicle is connected to sebaceous glands, which secrete sebum. Sebum normally travels up along the hair shaft, then out through the opening of the hair follicle, then onto the surface of your skin. When your body produces an excess amount of sebum and dead skin cells, the two can accumulate in the hair follicle and solidify.
Spots are those raised red spots with a white center that develop when blocked hair follicles become inflamed or infected. Blockages and inflammation that develop deep inside hair follicles produce lumps beneath the surface of your skin called cysts. Other pores in your skin, which are the openings of the sweat glands onto your skin, are not typically associated with spots.
Prevent the spots - While doctors continue to debate what causes the increased production of sebum that leads to spots, a number of factors - including hormones, bacteria, certain medications and heredity - can play a key role. But, instead of blaming your parents for your challenging skin situation, let us help you put together a new skincare routine or even just grab a few products that will give you your best skin ever.
American Medical Association