Acne is one of the most common skin problems. To learn more about the causes of acne and how to get rid of it, read through this article.

What Causes Acne?

Acne is a common skin problem that most people suffer from during their teenage years. However, acnes are also common in adults as well. Although acnes typically appear on the face, they can even invade your neck, back, shoulder, and chest where most of the oil glands are present in the body. As a rule, an acne is not a very serious medical condition and almost all people suffer from it at certain stages in their lives. Nevertheless, in severe cases, you might want to consult a dermatologist to prevent acne from permanently scarring your skin. If you are very bothered about your acne problem and feel that it is hampering your social relationship and self esteem, seek help from a dermatologist before your condition worsens. Maintaining a healthy diet and practicing basic hygiene helps in minimizing the risk of acne attacks. Starting from over-the-counter medication to cosmetic surgery, there are plenty of treatments available for acne. If you want to know more about the different causes of acne, then read through the sections that follow.

Acne Causes

Hyperactive Oil Glands
Oil glands or sebaceous glands are present beneath the skin. Each oil gland is connected to hair follicles in the skin which open in the skin pores. These glands secrete oil that keeps the skin hydrated and soft. Overactive oil glands secrete more oil, and this can block the skin pores thus causing acne.

Bacteria known as ‘propionibacterium acnes’, reside in the skin and derive nutrition from skin oil. These beneficial bacteria keep away other harmful bacteria from infecting the skin. However, when the oil is trapped in the hair follicles, the bacteria grow and multiply thus blocking the pores. This can lead to the formation of acne. 

Blockage Of Skin Pores
Skin pores become blocked when overactive oil glands secrete excess oil. Older skin cells shed and block these skin pores further, thus stimulating the oil glands to secrete more oil. Acnes develop when some of the pores get blocked trapping the excess oil within the skin pores.

Inflamed skin can also lead to formation of acne. The typical characteristics of inflamed skin are swelling, redness, and irritation. Inflamed skin can occur due to the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, cysts, and pustules. Inflamed skin blocks the skin pores and thus causes acne.

Hormone Surge
Changing levels of hormones is another major cause for acne in adult women. Many women get acnes 2 to 7 days prior to the start of their menstrual period. Acne is also common during pregnancy when the body of a woman witness a huge hormonal surge. Stress can also aggravate the condition. The oil glands are controlled by a male hormone called androgen that is secreted from testes in males and ovaries in the females. Although the hormone in a female is very less, certain medical conditions can increase the level of androgen in women thus causing acne as well.

Other Significant Causes

  • Certain drugs like barbiturates, lithium, and androgens are also known to cause acne as side effects.
  • Greasy cosmetics cling to the skin pores thus blocking them and cause acne.
  • Rubbing the skin with backpacks, bike helmets, or tight collars can further aggravate the acne condition.
  • Acne can also be formed due to environmental irritants like pollution, high humidity etc.
  • Scratching, squeezing and picking blemishes can worsen the acne condition.

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