What Really Causes Acne?

Young woman picking a pimple in the mirrorAcne Vulgaris, the medical name for acne, is a common skin disease that is associated with glands of oil located at the base of your hair follicles. The word “acne” comes from the Greek word “acme” which means “the highest point”. Acne is most common during puberty when your sebaceous oil glands finally come to life. However, acne is not restricted to puberty. A number of adults are also known to suffer from the disease. Although it is not considered to be dangerous, Acne can leave scars on your skin if it is not treated properly.

Sebum is an oily liquid which is produced by your oil glands. The sebum is in charge of carrying the dead cells from the inner parts of your skin to the outer surface using the follicles. Pimples and scars grow when these follicles get blocked and result in an accumulation of oil under your skin.

According to dermatologists, almost 3/4th of the population between 11 – 30 years of age shall suffer from acne at one point of time or the other. The Brown University in the US also estimates that almost 17 million Americans are estimated to suffer from Acne at any given time of the year.

Although no one is completely sure what actually causes acne, experts believe that the main reason behind acne is an increase in the androgen levels in your body. The rising androgen increases the size of your oil glands and makes them produce more oil. The excessive sebum that is produced by your oil glands break down the cellular walls in the pores and lead to bacteria growth. Here are some of the main factors that cause acne.


One of the first places to check when you develop acne problems is your medicine cabinet. There are a number of drugs and medications such as the steroids found in prescription drugs that can lead to acne. Prednisone, the name for steroids that are taken internally, is a common ingredient in many medications. This ingredient helps in treating inflammatory problems like arthritis and allergies. However, if it is overused, it can also aggravate your condition and lead to acne. Other medical ingredients that have similar effects include lithium, iodine and lithium chloride. According to medical experts, oral contraceptives are also known to be a common cause of acne. Remember, once you start or stop taking these medications, it could take up to six months for acne to appear.

Your Beauty or Skin Care Routine

There are a number of zit causing ingredients that could be lurking in your beauty and skin care products. However, unlike your medical prescriptions, you have complete control over what you use for your beauty and skin care products. Some people end up applying extra skin care products on areas where its occurrence is the most common, areas like your face, neck, scalp and hairline. However, in most cases, these products end up doing more harm than good. Going to bed with your make-up on is another common cause of acne.  Makeup brushes are constantly collecting leftover makeup and gathering bacteria. If not cleaned regularly, they also lead to skin care problems like acne.

Your Daily Diet

One of the most important aspects of skin care is what you eat. Consuming food items that are unhealthy are known to reflect on the surface of your skin. Although studies have shown that junk food does not lead to acne, studies have also shown that eating oily and junk food if you already have adult acne is known to further aggravate your condition. Sugar damages your healthy skin cells and also suppresses your immune system, thereby making it more difficult for your body to fight against infection and bacteria. Many processed food items that are high in saturated and trans fats can also trigger acne breakouts. Furthermore, sugary food items are yet another acne nightmare as are food items that have a high glycemic index. The best way to treat acne is to change the type of food items that you consume. Cut down on processed foods and focus your diets more on vegetables and fresh fruits.


Your personal hygiene can be directly associated with skin care and acne. Poor hygiene practices have been known to lead to adult acne. When your body sweats, it becomes a magnet for dirt and germs because the moist skin makes it easy for them to stick to it. If you don’t take a proper shower, this dirt and oil buildup sticks to your body and eventually ends up clogging your pores and leading to acne. Make sure that you have a proper shower after a night out on town or a rigorous exercise. Don’t forget to cleanse your face twice a day. Also avoid scrubbing your skin too hard or using harsh soaps as they can trigger acne as well.

 Touching Your Face Every Now and Then

Make sure that you refrain from touching your face every now and then, even after washing your hands. Touching your face frequently can increase the oil production or inflame the skin. It can also increase the bacteria build up on your face. And don’t ever think about popping the pimple that appears on your face.



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