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Causes of Acne

Acne is a common skin condition. Almost everyone suffers from an acne outbreak at some point in his or her life. It starts in your sebaceous hair follicles when the gland begins to produce too much sebum. The sebum mixes with dead skin cells and forms a plug in the follicle. If the opening is large, small, or flat spotted, then dark centers are created, which is commonly known as a blackhead. Alternatively, if the plugged follicle is close to the surface of the skin, it bulges outwards to form a whitehead. Both these plugged pores are vulnerable to bacterial infection, which results in pimples, deeper lumps or nodules. The age-old belief is that a poor diet causes acne. But, that's not true. Here is what can trigger an acne outbreak:

  • Hormones:
  • Most acne problems start at puberty, when the body begins to produce hormones known as androgens. High levels of androgens cause sebaceous glands to enlarge and produce more sebum, which causes acne. Sebum production is also affected by hormonal changes caused during pregnancy and by use of oral contraceptives. This is one of the reasons behind acne problems in adults.


  • Follicle Fallout:
  • As skin renews itself, the old cells within the follicle die and shed gradually. Sometimes, the expelled dead cell mix with the skin's natural oils and forms a plug in follicles, averting the skin’s natural process of renewal. The plugged follicle develops into swollen, tender inflammations called acne by the growth of bacteria in the plug.


  • Bacteria:
  • A normally harmless bacterium, Propionibacterium, lives on skin. It plays an essential role in the skin's natural sebum maintenance system. However, a clogged pore encourages the growth of this bacteria and it multiplies rapidly, creating inflammation in the follicle and surrounding skin, which we normally call acne.

No matter what causes your acne breakout, it is always possible to control the problem using effective acne treatment. You can either select acne treatment yourself or consult a dermatologist for recommendation.