I have been greatly amused by my ever changing children. My oldest who just became a teenager has just discovered the wonderful world of acne. Upon hearing how much of a hassle it is to constantly clean his face, I took him on a mini lesson on the benefits of certain bacteria responsible for some of his woes.
Number two in this little series of things we can’t live without (even though we wish we could), is none other than Propionibacterium acnes.
P. acnes is a pesky little rod-shaped bacteria that can embed itself deep in your skin pores. The blockage then turns into white heads. However what most people don’t realize, and again neither did my son, is that P. acnes is acturally crucial to healthy skin.
This bacteria secretes enzymes that help break down the fats of sebum, a substance produced in sebaceous glands in your skin. While P. acnes breaks down sebum the natural moisturizers are released onto your skin. P. acnes also raises the acidity on your skin which helps in keeping more dangerous bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes away. Yeah the idea of a Staph infection or even Strep is not a thrilling idea. Luckily my son agreed with me.
The key to keeping P. acnes from getting out of hand is to be proactive. A regular regiment of face washings will help keep this little bugger on the up and up. If by chance you have a rebellious lot of P. acnes, a dermatologist may prescribe a more vigorous line of treatment.
Hopefully a happy balance will you find. Until next time my fellow scientists, I bid you Buenos Noches!