How to Get Rid of Acne?

Tuesday 2 July 2013

How to Get Rid of Acne?

Skin barrier prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria

Many of us were led to believe that frequent washing of our skin is good for us. It gets rid of all the debris and oil, but does it get rid of bacteria?

The skin protects the human body from its environment. One of the important characteristics of skin is it's surface pH which is largely acidic and is around 5.5. The skin is a habitat for a complex microbial ecosystem. Permanently resident good bacteria act as a defensive barrier and prevent the growth of pathogenic, or bad bacteria.

Changes in skin pH level and use of antimicrobial skin cleansers may compromise the barrier

Good bacteria grow best at a more acidic pH, whereas pathogenic grow best at a neutral pH. Changes in skin pH may facilitate the resident bacteria to become pathogenic. For example, P. acnes bacteria causing acne vulgaris is at its minimum when skin pH is 5.5, but a little increase in pH level results in increased growth of this organism.

We normally think that washing our skin more frequently is a good thing. But be wary that intensive use of antimicrobial skin cleansers could lead to an increased susceptibility to skin infections. This is due to the fact that the normal flora of the skin gets invaded, so do not forget that you need to think about your good bacteria not only bad.

Normal soap has alkaline pH, which is a lot higher than pH of the skin. After washing our skin with soap, our skin's pH temporarily goes up, which creates a favourable environment for pathogenic bacteria.

Also, we often hear that natural is better than synthetic, however, some people may prefer synthetic cleanser due to the fact that synthetic cleansers usually have pH that matches the skin. This may be particularly relevant for acne prone individuals to keep P. acnes bacteria at bay.

Tap water in Europe has a pH level of around 8 which is a lot higher than acidic skin surface pH of around 5.5. Washing ourselves under tap water temporarily increases skin pH level even if we use a cleanser that is balanced. If skin is left unwashed and unaltered by any chemicals for 24 hours, its natural level of pH drops to around 4.9.

Washing yourself less frequently may help with your acne

If you have any skin problems, be careful; do not be led into thinking that washing yourself frequently is always better, especially if you have problems with acne. It is often claimed that acne is caused by clogged pores, so you need to cleanse them often to keep them unblocked. Washing too often may interfere with the natural bacterial balance of your skin, thus, causing acne to be more severe.

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