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What Causes an Acne Breakout?

What Causes an Acne Breakout? What Causes an Acne Breakout?

Acne is a common condition affecting individuals in their teens through adulthood. Many over-the-counter medications and treatments are available for all forms of acne, from mild to severe and for those with sensitive or oily skin types. Choosing the right product, however, may take time and because the skin's needs may change based on hormones and weather. According to Mayo Clinic, self care measures can be effective for the treatment of mild acne but for severe (cystic acne) a prescription may be necessary. When cystic acne occurs, it is best to see a dermatologist to avoid deep scarring that can result.


According to Mayo Clinic, an over production of oil, also called sebum, can lead to acne breakouts. This may occur due to hormones, medications or heredity. To counteract the over production of oil, keeping the skin clean is important. A mild cleanser is recommended because harsh products and chemicals can irritate the skin and aggravate the condition. Effective products include those containing benzoyl peroxide or saliclylic acid, which can kill bacteria and help the skin shed dead cells.


According to Mayo Clinic, as irregular shedding of the skins cells occurs, the hair follicles can become irritated, resulting in acne. Helping the skin shed those dead cells, revealing smoother skin, can be done through exfoliation. This method however, can only clear the surface layers of the skin. Deeper methods may involve medications such as retinoids, which According to the American Academy of Dermatology, causes the skin to shed, unclogging the pores.


According to Mayo Clinic, the last factor that can cause acne is a buildup of bacteria on the skin. Certain hygienic habits can help to keep the skin clean and reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin. Avoiding heavy makeup, choosing lighter powders instead of cream-based formulas, showering after exercise or exposure to extreme heat and removing makeup before bed are good practices that may contribute to clearer skin.

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