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Major Causes of Acne

Major Causes of Acne Major Causes of Acne Major Causes of Acne

To better manage breakouts, it helps to be aware of the major causes of acne. There are a number of factors that can contribute to acne, says the Mayo Clinic. Family history, hormonal changes and stress can trigger the responses in the body that lead to the formation of acne. The quality of your diet will also affect the overall condition of your skin. Knowing the root causes of acne will enable you to make informed decisions about how best to treat it.

Sebum, Dead Skin and Bacteria

Excess sebum, dead skin-cell buildup and bacteria are the three components that form acne. According to the Mayo Clinic, your body produces an oil called sebum that is necessary for hydrating your skin and keeping it healthy. It is secreted onto the skin's surface through your pores. Your skin also regenerates itself by sloughing off dead skin cells. When sebum and dead skin cells are produced in excess, they may become trapped within the pores. Unable to release the oil and skin slough, whiteheads or blackheads begin to form. If the pores remain clogged and bacteria begin to grow, the pores will become inflamed, resulting in the formation of pimples.


Although hormones do not cause acne, hormonal imbalances can trigger the biological processes that lead to breakouts. According to the Causes of Acne website, the release of androgen hormones can result in an overproduction of oil from the sebaceous glands, which then leads to acne. The overproduction of androgen is common during puberty, which accounts for the prevalence of acne among adolescents. Other hormones that can contribute to breakouts include pregnancy hormones, the hormones associated with a woman's menstrual cycle and excess testosterone.


Stress and anxiety can also contribute to acne breakouts in a number of ways. The adrenal glands respond to stress by producing cortisol, says the Causes of Acne website. The excess cortisol leads to increased production of oil from the sebaceous glands, which in turn creates the potential for excess oil to block the skin's pores. Furthermore, the body will begin to produce more hormones in response to stress and anxiety, which can also affect the condition of your skin.


Acne is not caused by the foods you eat, but a poor diet can exacerbate a predisposition to breaking out. Your skin is more susceptible to damage, both internally and externally, if you are negligent about your nutrition. In his article "Cure Acne Naturally," written for the Cure Guide website, Randall Neustaedter OMD says your body requires essential vitamins and minerals for skin-cell regeneration, repair and protection. Also, there are certain foods that can undermine the condition of your skin. Foods that are high in fat, sugar and refined flour can inflame the skin, which could aggravate acne. You cannot control your body's biological functions, hormonal output or reaction to stress and anxiety, but you can control your diet. To prevent acne, limit your intake of foods such as cookies, chips and caffeinated beverages; instead opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, nuts and whole grains.

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