Acne may be a common skin problem but unfortunately very few of the sufferers really have a full understanding on what causes acne. There are many myths that confuse these acne-stricken people.
What causes acne? One of the beliefs (or is this myth?) is that acne is caused by poor hygiene that makes the skin dirty. The biggest trigger to acne is not about the skin’s surface but beneath the dermis. So the cleanliness of the skin may not cause the bumps per se. There is also the practice of squeezing the zits, whiteheads and blackheads to get rid of the pimples. This is the opposite because doing so may only aggravate infection and leave scarring.
A disease such as acne that is not well-understood is difficult to prevent or treat. But in the case of these breakouts, the causes of acne had been pinpointed by a lot of researches. And there are things one can do in order to prevent it. One of the root causes of acne is clogged pores due to accumulation of dead cells and excess oil. Recalling the myths, cleanliness may be a factor because dirt on the skin will contribute to clogging of pores.
An explanation as to what causes acne
What causes acne remains to be a mystery; what are usually known are the triggers. A more in-depth query disclosed that what causes acne are the blocked hair follicles, the tiny holes in the skin. The blocking has something to do with the sebaceous glands near the skin’s surface. These glands are attached to the hair follicles and are the cause for the blockage of the pores.
The sebaceous glands are good parts of the skin because they are responsible for the production of the oily substance called sebum. The sebum lubricates the skin and the hair in it to prevent drying. But when too much sebum is produced, the excess oil mixes with the dead skin cells and dirt causing the blockage of the pores or the base of the hair follicle. If this plugged follicle is close to the skin’s surface, it will create a bump. If there are resident bacteria in the skin, they will penetrate the pore and the bump will be infected to develop into bigger and inflamed breakouts you call acne.
Triggers to acne – genetics and hormones
What causes acne to come out are two known triggers, genetics and hormone. Both could be beyond your control.
• Genetic or acne in the family
Sad to say, you cannot choose your family lineage and history. If your parents or siblings had history of acne affliction, it is very likely that you will contract this skin disease. If both of your parents had it, your acne can be severe and would come out even at an earlier age. The genetic acne usually manifests during your younger years, as teens. As early as puberty years, you release hormones that could cause the outbreak of pimples.
• Hormone acne
Teenage acne is believed to be triggered by the surge in the level of testosterone hormone. This happens particularly during puberty period. For male teens, this hormone stimulates the growth of testicles and penis. For female teenagers, the hormone promotes stronger muscles and bones.
The sebaceous glands in both boys and girls, are very sensitive to the increase in hormones. More sebum is produced to cause pimples. Females have more tendencies to suffer adult acne because of the hormonal changes during menstruation periods and pregnancy.
Other triggers and cofactors to acne
There are other identified triggers to eruption of acne. What causes acne consists of the cofactors such as use of medications, cosmetic products and wearing of items that are hazardous when they come in contact with the skin. Example is headbands. Smoking is also a factor for acne in older people.
If you use cosmetic products, pick those that are classified as non-comedogenic. Anti-epileptic drugs, lithium and steroids are medications that can also trigger the flare up of acne. What causes acne? Stress, toxins in the environment, improper diet and climatic changes can also be included in the list.