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What Are the Leading Causes of Acne?

What Are the Leading Causes of Acne? What Are the Leading Causes of Acne? What Are the Leading Causes of Acne?

Many people struggle with the problem of acne. The exact causes of acne remain unclear; research has discerned only some of the elements that influence its development. The causes of acne can also differ from person to person, but often include hormones and stress, along with diet and several other miscellaneous causes.

Hormones and Stress

By its very nature, acne is sometimes considered a hormonal condition. Hormones are responsible for the maturing of our skin's oil glands, notes, which is why children generally do not experience acne. Hormones often become unbalanced and cause acne — or make existing acne worse — during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause, though there is really no limit to when these imbalances can occur.
Male hormones, known as androgens and present in both males and females, might precipitate acne, according to This site also says that the oil surplus created by these hormones can be instrumental in clogging the hair follicles where bacteria grows and causes acne.

Stress can also lead to acne, recent clinical studies have shown. One of these studies, conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, proved that stress from exams worsened acne in the students under observation, according to the Acne Resource Center Online. This study showed that stress caused acne to worsen by stimulating the adrenal glands to produce more hormones, and slowing down the healing process. It also showed that psychological stress can decrease the wound-healing capacity of the immune system by up to 40 percent; this factor doubles the impact of stress on acne.


While some believe that greasy foods cause acne, this is not necessarily true — though they might play a role in making the skin more oily if consumed frequently. There is also no proof of a relationship between acne and foods like chocolate and candy, though it never hurts to limit your intake of these. However, the Every Diet website advises, avoid high levels of iodine or iodized salt, as these can cause new outbreaks of acne lesions. Replacing oily, salty foods with fruits and vegetables can help reduce acne, since these contain essential vitamins and minerals that are good for overall health. Drink plenty of water, too.

Other Possible Causes

Other possible causes of acne exist, though it is sometimes hard to tell which are the main culprit behind breakouts. Having hair that constantly touches your face can agitate acne, due to hair's oil content; some hair products might also irritate the skin. Using makeup, skin-care products, or topical prescriptions can sometimes affect issues with acne. Dirty pillow covers can worsen acne, as can picking at your skin. Dirt and oil buildup are also well known to clog pores and cause breakouts.

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