One of the most annoying parts of having acne is not knowing what is causing it, and the task of pinning down which cause is affecting you specifically can be a tedious one.
Acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes blackheads, pimples and clogged pores. It is the most common skin condition in the United States, affecting 3 in every 4 people ages 11 to 30 years. Acne can be caused by a whole slew of things, so we’re here to bring some of those to light.
First a little insight into HOW acne is caused.
Our skin has pores that connect to oil glands under the skin. Follicles connect the glands to pores and produce and secrete liquid. The oily liquid called sebum, carries dead skin cells through the follicles to the surface of the skin. Pimples grow when these follicles get blocked and the oil it was carrying builds up under the skin. P. acnes, or Propionibacterium acnes, than contribute to the infection of pimples. However, the severity and frequency of acne depend on the strain of bacteria.
Now, WHAT causes acne.
There are many reasons as to why you could be breaking out. Here are 3 main reasons:
Acne may be caused by a rise in androgen levels. Androgen is a type of hormone that rises in levels as you age (however in women, Androgen it eventually is converted to Estrogen). The increase in Androgen causes oil glands to grow, which results in more sebum production. It’s this excessive sebum that lets bacteria grow.
Studies indicate that certain dietary factors may worsen acne. Commonly including dairy products, skim milk and carbohydrate-rich foods — such as bread, bagels and chips. These types of food create inflammation within the body, increased inflammation can show up on the skin as inflamed cystic painful acne. It’s not unlikely that when people struggling with acne take gluten or dairy out of their diet, their acne clears up. It’s also been studied that chocolate is a suspect of making acne worse. Getting an allergy panel can greatly help in narrowing down a dietary problem you could be having.
Not taking care of your skin could also be the factor contributing to your acne. By taking care of your skin, we mean by using good products and good practices. A common mistake is using drugstore “Acne Solution” products. These products are often very stripping for the skin (which actually just causes more oil production) and based off of false advertising. We recommend using medical grade products that utilize salicylic, glycolic, and other acne fighting ingredients as their most potent ingredients. Seeing an Esthetician to educate about ingredients and how to use them correctly. Also getting on a good in-office regimen is highly recommended to stop and heal those active breakouts.