Acne is a pesky skin disease that most of us have dealt with in our teenage years. But, acne isn't just for kids. Adults can get acne, too. So, what really causes acne?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to acne because there are a number of different factors that can contribute to this condition.
While you’ve no doubt heard rumors and advice from well-meaning strangers on acne, let’s look at the facts. Here’s some straight talk on what, exactly acne is.
What is Acne?
Acne starts in the oil glands at the base of the hair follicles. The glands are connected to the pores. Normally, an oily substance carries dead skin through the glands and pushes it out the pore. However, when the glands become plugged, acne occurs.
So, that’s what causes acne. Sounds simple, right? Alas, this is also where it gets complicated. Here are a few factors that can contribute to the cause of acne.
Acne, in many cases, is the result of bacterial growth within the hair follicles. This bacteria causes inflammation which leads to acne. In most cases, the acne that is associated with bacteria is Propionibacterium acne which is most commonly treated with antibiotics.
The environment in which you live can play a big part in your acne – in many cases, people find that harsh environments contribute to their breakouts. Others find that exposure to sunlight helps reduce their acne. Different environments and conditions have different effects on our bodies, and it is the same for acne breakouts. What works for one person might not work for another.
Stress and Hormones
Stress and changes in hormonal levels can cause and aggravate acne. Since stress is known to disrupt the normal hormonal balance, it only would make sense that acne would be prone to breakout during periods of stress. Things such as sleep loss or alcohol consumption are forms of stress on the body that could cause acne breakouts.
There are ways to tell if your acne is hormone related. If acne is located beneath the cheekbones and along the jawline it is often likely to be hormone related. If you think you may be suffering from hormone caused acne be sure to check with your dermatologist as it could be related to a hormone imbalance.
We all know that diet plays an important role in our health and wellness, so it should be no surprise that diet plays a big part in acne breakouts, too. Consistently high blood sugar levels are also considered a form of stress which can lead to acne breakouts.
So, what’s the answer? How can you tackle your acne once and for all? The best option is to practice good skin care, eat healthy, and be aware of certain food triggers. If the struggle persists, you should consider making an appointment with a dermatologist. A good dermatologist will be able to help pinpoint the cause of your acne and will be able to prescribe medication(s) that will help combat your acne.