Acne Causes: Root Factors For Face, Back, Chest, Body Pimples

Acne is a skin condition that affects many people of all ages. It can range from mild to severe and can cause embarrassment, anxiety and a loss of self-esteem. But what causes acne, and how can we prevent it? In this blog post, we will explore the root causes of acne and how to prevent it. We will discuss how lifestyle, diet, hormones, and genetics can all contribute to the development of acne and look at the best treatments and prevention strategies. By understanding the root causes of acne, we can take steps to treat and prevent it.

Acne Causes

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there is no exact cause for acne. Acne can have many causes. Stress, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, medication and allergies may all be contributing factors. All forms of acne have their origin in wrong feeding habits, such as irregular hours of eating, improper food, excess of starches and sugar, excess of fatty foods. Chronic constipation is another major cause of acne. If the bowels do not move properly, waste matter is not eliminated as quickly as it should be and the bloodstream becomes surcharged with toxic matter. The extra efforts of the skin to eliminate excess waste result in acne and other forms of skin disease. Yet another important cause of acne is a devitalized condition of the skin resulting from unhygienic living habits. Other causes of the disorder are excessive use of tea, coffee, alcohol or tobacco, strenuous studies, masturbation and sedentary habits which lead to indigestion and general debility. Acne is a result of uncontrollable and controllable factors. Uncontrollable factors are those that you cannot do anything about. These are heredity and hormones. Controllable factors are those that you can control, or do something about. Certain things can contribute to breakouts and make them worse.

Breakout Risk Factors

Hormones can fluctuate at times other than adolescence, most notably during pregnancy, around the time of menses or menopause, and during periods of emotional stress. Oral contraceptives can also affect hormonal production. Acne can appear on babies as well. This is normal and goes away with time. It would be a mistake, however, to attribute acne solely to fluctuating hormones. The second biggest contributor to acne is poor nutrition. Fat, sugar, and processed foods accelerate skin inflammation and acne. They also contribute to constipation, and thus the body responds by trying to expel the poisons through a different avenue via the skin. Some root causes includes genetics, poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, hormonal fluctuation or imbalance, emotional stress, poor digestion/toxic body system, candida or yeast overgrowth. Here are some major and important causes of acne explained in detail. The below mentioned all or one of factors can lead to clogged and infected pores, resulting in increased bacteria and yeast overgrowth on the skin. Overgrowth of these organisms causes skin inflammation. Superficial inflammation results in pustule formation and skin redness. Inflammation that occurs deeper in the skin can result in the formation of nodules and cysts and, possibly, scars.

Acne Root Causes

1. Excessive Sebum Production

The cause of the problem is usually inflamed sebaceous glands, which open into the hair follicles and produce an oil secretion known as sebum. A follicle is a tiny duct in the skin where a hair grows. Inside each follicle, at the bottom of the hair, is a sebaceous gland. This gland produces a kind of oil, called sebum. The sebaceous glands exude lipids by disintegration of entire cells, a process known as holocrine secretion. Sebum travels up the hair and onto the skin. It is needed to keep your skin and hair healthy. Usually the sebaceous glands make the right amount of sebum. This oil helps to keep the skin soft, moist, and supple. Sebum oil production is meant to prevent skin from drying. In people who suffer from acne, the glands produce too much oil. Too much sebum causes the follicle to become sticky and clogged with oil and dead skin. Bacteria on the skin mix with the oil and get into the follicle. The bacteria cause the follicle to become infected. The follicle becomes red and inflamed. This inflammation causes swelling and redness. This inflamed pore is a skin blemish known as an acne lesion. Lesions over the follicles, which become blocked by oil, may appear as solid elevations of the skin (papules), as pus-filled blisters (pustules), as cysts or as scars.

2. Hormones

A particular hormone, called an androgen, is one of the main causes of acne. Androgens are male sex hormones produced by the body. Androgens are present in all. They cause the sebaceous glands to become larger and make more oil. This process is normal in all teenagers. However, if you suffer from acne, the androgens in your body are telling your sebaceous glands to make too much oil. As the skin becomes oilier, breakouts are more likely to occur. In young women, there are hormonal changes that occur around the time of the menstrual cycle. Before menstruation, the ovaries make a lot of a hormone called progesterone. Progesterone helps a woman’s body prepare for pregnancy. It also makes oil glands more sensitive. Androgens take advantage of this sensitivity, telling the glands to produce more oil. If you’re a woman, this hormone activity is the reason that breakouts happen at certain times of the month. Acne usually gets worse anywhere from two to seven days before a woman’s period starts.

3. Heredity

Heredity is another reason why you may suffer from acne. If either of your parents had acne, there’s a good chance that you will, too. If both your parents had skin problems, your chance of developing acne is even greater. Oily skin is inherited from your parents. This means that your body may naturally produce more oil. Your skin may also be more sensitive to the hormones that help produce oil. If your acne is hereditary, it may mean that you may continue to have breakouts even when you become an adult.

4. Overdoing It

You cannot wash or scrub acne away. Washing your skin more than three times a day can actually make your acne worse and create new blemishes. Too much washing can over dry your skin. Harsh soaps, such as deodorant soaps or astringents, can also cause over drying. The dry skin then produces more oil to replace the oil it has lost. With this additional oil, breakouts are more likely. Skin that has broken out is very delicate. If you scrub with a washcloth or face sponge, or if you use facial scrubs, you make skin that is irritated even worse. As you scrub, you add to the amount of dead skin cells on your skin. These dead flakes of skin can clog your pores. Clogged pores increase your chance of getting blemishes.

5. Picking and Popping

Resist the temptation to pick, squeeze, or pop blemishes. Squeezing a pimple does several things to make your skin worse. First, it pushes some of the oil and bacteria in the blemish deeper into the skin. This can lead to more infection and make the pimple last longer. It can also develop into a more severe cyst. Second, squeezing a blemish doesn’t allow it to heal. Instead, it opens the blemish up to the bacteria and oil already on your face. Bacteria and oil can get into the open blemish and cause a bigger infection. Squeezing can also infect the surrounding skin and lead to more pimples. Third, when you pick at or pop a blemish, you are touching nearby skin. The oils and bacteria on your fingertips are left on the skin. This increases your chances of getting more pimples. Finally, you are at risk of having permanent scars if you pick or squeeze your acne. This is especially true if you squeeze a pimple long enough to see blood.

6. Clothing

Anything that puts pressure on the skin can cause irritation. When the skin is irritated, acne is more likely to form. Tight-fitting clothing, headbands, bra straps, hats, and collars can rub the skin and aggravate it. Athletic equipment, such as chin straps, pads, and helmets, can trap sweat and rub it into your skin, causing acne. Fabrics that don’t breathe well, such as nylon and spandex, can also trap sweat. The sweat mixes with sebum to produce a pore-clogging film on the surface of the skin.

7. Hair

When your hair touches your face, the natural oils in your hair are left on the skin. This can clog pores and lead to breakouts, especially along the hairline. Hair products, such as conditioners and pomades, contain lots of oils. These oils can get on the skin, leading to clogged pores and pimples. Bangs can cause breakouts across the forehead.

8. Environment

Living or working in humid environments can make your acne worse. Humidity, which is moisture in the air, affects the skin in the same way that sweating does. The water in the air causes the follicle to swell and become blocked. This results in clogged pores and breakouts. Working in a job where you come into contact with a lot of oils can also cause acne. The air in fast-food restaurants and gas stations contains oil that can get on your skin and hair. Working with oily foods and then touching your hair or skin can also lead to acne.

9. Medication

Certain medications, such as corticosteroids and lithium, can cause or worsen acne. Some medications that can cause acne include – steroids (such as prednisone), testosterone, bromides, isotretinoin (also known as Accutane), anticonvulsants (such as Dilantin and Tegretol), barbiturates, phenytoin (Dilantin), androgens (such as testosterone), DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), and birth control pills. Speak with your doctor about the situation. Never stop taking your medication because of breakouts.

10. Candida or Yeast Overgrowth

Candida or yeast overgrowth can be an underlying cause of acne. This is most common after chronic antibiotic use, where “friendly bacteria” are destroyed, setting up the overgrowth of candida. Many people are on long-term antibiotic use for the treatment of acne, which sets up not only a further acne problem but potential digestive problems as well.

11. Propionibacterium Bacteria

The bacteria Propionibacterium acnes is a normal part of healthy human skin. This bacteria uses sebum oil for growth, so when sebum oil production increases during adolescence so does the bacteria. Hence the increase in acne with adolescence. People with acne have more Propionibacterium acnes in their skin than people without acne. Bacteria contribute to acne by causing inflammation in and around the hair follicles in the skin. When the pores become clogged with excess amounts of oil and dead skin cells, bacteria can thrive, causing the follicle to become inflamed and swelling. This inflammation leads to the development of acne lesions.

12. Stress

It can cause the body to produce hormones that can lead to an increase in oil production and can trigger acne. Stress can contribute to acne in several ways. It can lead to the body producing an excess of hormones, such as cortisol, which can trigger the oil glands in the skin to produce more sebum. This excess oil can clog pores, leading to inflammation and acne breakouts. Stress can also cause other changes in the body, such as increased sugar levels, which can also contribute to acne.

13. Diet

Eating a diet high in processed and sugary foods can increase the risk of acne. Diets that are high in refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and other processed foods, can contribute to acne. These foods can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can trigger the production of hormones that lead to acne. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and limiting your intake of processed and sugary foods can help reduce acne. Additionally, maintaining a healthy weight can help keep your hormones in balance and prevent acne.

14. Food Sensitivity

One must also consider the role of food sensitivities, which can cause or worsen acne. The hormones that are added to commercial dairy products and meats can over stress the liver. Some people with acne are sensitive to the iodine in shellfish. There are, some foods that can trigger or aggravate these conditions and can be avoided to prevent worsening the condition. These foods include:

  • High-Fat Foods: High-fat foods can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate severely, thereby leading to more acne.
  • Dairy Products: Dairy products are often high-fat foods, which as mentioned above can cause blood sugar spikes. Milk also contains hormones that can lead to increased sebum oil production by the body.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine in foods triggers your body to release stress hormones, which increase stress levels.
  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can lead to a release of hormones that trigger sebum oil production.
  • Refined Carbohydrates and High-Sugar Foods: The sugars in these carbohydrates cause blood sugar spikes.


Q. How hormonal changes effect acne?
Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can lead to an increase in oil production, resulting in clogged hair follicles and acne. Acne is caused by a combination of several factors, including an increase in androgen hormones, such as testosterone, which stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, a type of oil. This increased oil production can lead to clogged pores and an overgrowth of bacteria, resulting in pimples, blackheads, and other forms of acne. Additionally, hormonal changes during puberty and menopause can lead to an increase in inflammation, which can exacerbate existing acne.

Q. Is acne prone skin genetic?
Genetics can play a role in developing acne. If your parents had acne, you are more likely to have it as well. Genetics are responsible for acne in many ways. The main way is through the production of hormones, which can increase the activity of the sebaceous glands, leading to an increase in oil production. This can clog pores, leading to acne. In addition, genetics can also influence the type of acne and the severity of it. Some people are more prone to developing cystic acne or inflammatory acne, which can be much more difficult to treat than other types of acne.

Q. What are the medical conditions that causes acne?

  1. Hormonal Imbalance: Hormonal changes, such as those experienced during puberty, pregnancy and menopause, can cause an increase in sebum production, which can lead to acne.
  2. Stress: Stress can cause the body to produce hormones like cortisol, which can increase sebum production and lead to acne.
  3. Medications: Certain medications, such as steroids, can cause acne.
  4. Bacteria: Bacteria that live on the skin, such as Propionibacterium acnes, can trigger inflammation and acne.
  5. Diet: Eating a diet high in processed foods, sugar and dairy can trigger inflammation and exacerbate existing acne.

Q. Is acne caused by dirty skin?
No, acne is not caused by dirty skin. Acne is caused by hormones, bacteria, clogged pores, and other factors. Keeping your skin clean is important for healthy skin, but it will not prevent acne.

Q. Why does acne cause mental health problems?
Acne can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health, leading to a range of negative emotions, such as embarrassment, shame, anxiety, and depression. People with acne may feel self-conscious about their appearance and may experience social isolation. They may also feel a lack of control over their bodies, which can lead to feelings of helplessness and low self-esteem. Acne can also lead to a decreased sense of self-worth, which can further contribute to mental health issues.

Q. Is acne caused by shea butter?
No, acne is not caused by shea butter. While some people may be allergic to shea butter, acne is actually caused by a combination of several factors, such as hormones, bacteria, and genetics.

Q. Can exercise cause acne?
Exercise can cause acne due to sweat and dirt that can get trapped in the skin. Sweat and dirt can clog pores, which can lead to breakouts of acne. Additionally, some people are more prone to breakouts when they exercise because their skin is more sensitive.

Q. Is acne caused by dry skin?
No, acne is not caused by dry skin. Acne is caused by overactive oil glands, bacteria, and clogged pores.

Q. How do I treat acne caused by antibiotics?
Acne caused by antibiotics can be treated with topical agents such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, or salicylic acid. It is also important to use gentle cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreens to help manage the condition. If the acne does not improve with over-the-counter treatments, speak to your doctor about possible medications or topical treatments that may be more effective.

Q. Why do acne cause a lot of blackhead?
Blackheads are caused by a buildup of excess oil and dead skin cells that clog the pores in your skin. When the buildup is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black. Acne can cause a lot of blackheads because of the excess oil and dead skin cells that are produced in response to the acne.

Q. Do retinoid creams for acne cause dryness of the skin?
Yes, retinoid creams can cause dryness of the skin. Retinoids are very effective at treating acne, but they can also lead to side effects such as dryness, flaking, and redness. To help minimize these effects, it is important to use a moisturizer after applying the retinoid cream.

Q. Can acne make your lymph nodes swell?
Yes, acne can cause lymph nodes to swell. This is typically due to an infection caused by the acne, such as a bacterial or viral infection. It is important to see a doctor if your lymph nodes become swollen to rule out any other potential causes.

Q. Does acne cause chest keloids?
No, acne does not cause chest keloids. Keloids are a type of scar that are caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue. Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads.

Q. Can chest acne cause a swollen submental lymph node?
No, chest acne does not typically cause a swollen submental lymph node. Swollen lymph nodes are a sign of infection or other medical condition, such as cancer. It is important to visit a doctor if you experience a swollen lymph node in the neck or any other area of the body.

Q. Can scalp pimples cause hair loss?
Yes, scalp pimples can cause hair loss in some cases. Hair follicles can become inflamed and infected due to bacterial or fungal infections, leading to temporary or permanent hair loss. Additionally, inflammation of the scalp can lead to hair loss due to scarring.

Q. How does acne cause you stress?
Acne can cause stress because it can be embarrassing and can negatively impact a person’s self-esteem. People can feel embarrassed about their appearance and may avoid social situations because of it. They may also feel self-conscious when trying to cover up their acne with makeup or other treatments. Additionally, acne can be painful and may cause a person to feel frustrated and overwhelmed.

Q. Why does acne cause scars if they’re touched or popped?
Acne scars occur when the skin is damaged due to picking or popping the pimple. As the skin heals, it produces more collagen in the area to repair the wound. However, this collagen production is often too much and results in a raised bump or indentation in the skin. These scars can be permanent and difficult to treat.

Q. Do acne causes large pores?
Yes, acne can cause large pores. When the skin is inflamed from acne, the pores can become stretched and enlarged, leading to visible large pores.

Q. Is acne caused by bad hygiene?
No, acne is not caused by bad hygiene. Acne is caused by a number of factors such as hormones, genetics, and certain medications. Good hygiene practices can help to reduce the appearance of acne, but they do not cause it.

Q. Can an increase in a testosterone level cause acne?
Yes, an increase in testosterone levels can cause an increase in the production of sebum in the skin, which can lead to acne.

Q. Is acne caused by cocci bacteria?
No, acne is not caused by cocci bacteria. Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum, which is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. This overproduction can be triggered by hormonal changes, stress, certain medications, and bacteria. The bacteria commonly associated with acne is called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes).

Q. Is it true that scalp acne causes dry hair?
Yes, scalp acne causes dry hair. When the scalp is inflamed due to acne, it can cause the scalp’s natural oils to become unbalanced, leading to dryness. Additionally, certain medications or treatments used to treat scalp acne can also cause dryness.

Q. Does putting concealer on acne causes the acne to take longer to go away?
In general, putting concealer on acne will not cause the acne to take longer to go away, as long as you are using a non-comedogenic concealer that is specifically designed for acne-prone skin. However, if you are using a concealer that is too heavy or not suitable for your skin type, it can clog your pores and make the acne worse. It is important to choose the right type of concealer to ensure that it does not irritate or worsen your acne.

Q. Can frequently wiping my face with wet wipes to reduce acne causes dent or permanent scar to form?
Frequently wiping your face with wet wipes to reduce acne should not cause dents or permanent scars to form. However, it is possible to cause skin irritation or sensitivities if the wipes are not designed specifically for facial use. It is best to use gentle, non-abrasive wipes that are formulated for your skin type. Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to use wipes that are free of fragrances and other potential irritants.

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