Causes of Acne

Despite endless research, a precise cause of acne isn’t known! However, doctors and researchers have at least come to some conclusions as to what sort of risk factors are involved, and ultimately contribute to, acne’s development.

According to some researchers, the primary causes are hormones and genetics, but this cannot account for every case as, in some instances, factors like medication, types of cosmetics, and certain aspects of personal hygiene
can create the conditions for acne’s formation.

Environment, too, can be a catalyst. Those working with chemicals or who are exposed to oils and greases, have a greater chance of getting acne because the materials themselves can clog pores.

The main thing to remember is that your skin acts as an indicator of your general health and well-being. In other words, acne breakouts are a symptom of a deeper, underlying problem.

I’ve listed the main problems here:-

Hormones

With the onset of puberty, the human body starts to produce hormones called androgens, or male sex hormones, in both boys and girls. These androgens cause the enlargement and over stimulation of the sebaceous glands that are located in the hair follicles, or pores, of the skin. This added stimulation causes the glands to produce extra sebum, or oil, that mixes with dead skin cells and bacteria on the skin’s surface and blocks the pores. Once the pore is blocked, the bacteria multiply and cause inflammation. All of this leads to the lesions that are associated with acne.

In women, hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause can also be responsible for outbreaks of acne. Additionally, when women are either beginning or ending the use of birth control medication, the hormonal fluctuations that occur at this time can cause acne.

In fact, any fluctuations in the hormones of adults (particularly those associated with stress), in both men and women, can cause spikes in the production of sebum in the sebaceous glands – leading to acne attacks.

Genetics

In studies conducted by a number of scientists, links have been found between those presently suffering from acne and the presence of acne in their family history. Strictly speaking though, acne is not an inherited disease, at least not in the medical sense of the word. However, it is has been demonstarated that acne is much more common in children with parents who have had or still have acne.

Many researchers now believe that the ultimate root cause of acne is genetic, but without resorting to genetic engineering, we are unable to address the problem at this level.

Other Factors

Medication

Many prescribed medicines can cause acne to flare up. Examples can include: barbiturates, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, lithium and certain forms of steroids.

Cosmetics

In the case of certain cosmetics, their ingredients can affect the structure of hair follicles and lead to over-production of sebum, which in turn clogs the pores.

Cleansing

Astringent facial products can dry the skin out and also causes the body to overproduce sebum to compensate. The use of harsh exfoliants can damage existing spots and spread infection.

Additionally, working with oils and chemicals – without using the correct protective clothing and equipment -can cause flare-ups (and the jury is out over whether this may, in fact, be one of the initial causes of acne).

Diet, too, is still an area of contention with regard to acne. There are researchers and nutritionists who claim that diet is responsible for acne, but whilst the scientific community agree that diet can worsen acne attacks, they insist that there is insufficient data to prove that it is, actually, one of the causes.

What is certain, however, is that a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, can be a major influence in clearing up acne attacks.

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