- What Causes Acne? How?
- Acne Breakout Risk Factors
- Root Causes of Acne For All – Baby, Teenagers, Adults, Men, Women
What Causes Acne? How?
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.
Acne 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.
Root Causes of Acne For All – Teenagers, Adults, Men and Women
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.
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 men and women. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Certain medicines can contribute to or cause acne flare ups. Antidepressants, steroids, certain birth control pills, and epilepsy drugs are the most common medications associated with acne. 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 Acnes
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.
12. 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.