What Causes Acne? 5 Proven Causes of Acne You Should Not Ignore

As per research, Acne is the 8th most common disease that affects millions of people globally.
In fact in most cases, it affects 90% adolescents as well as 20% to 30% of individuals aged between 20 to 40 years.

And yes! We all have had those absolutely irritating nightmares of acne at our teenage. And guess what? We’ve been haunted by them for years and even now a few of us are unable to deal with them.

Acne has been an enemy of teenagers as well as followed a few in their adolescence. It has given us those stubborn spots and painful bumps on the skin.

But, What is Acne?

Well, the definition goes like this:

Acne or Acne vulgaris; a long-term skin disease occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells.
It can affect the skin of your face, back, shoulders, chest etc and can vary from mild to severe.

And what’s important and missing from most of our heads is one question! And that is – “What exactly causes acne?”

Well, depending upon your skin property, acne has many types. Its main types include:

  • Blackheads
  • Greasy skin
  • Whiteheads
  • Pimples

Acne is not just a disease that causes harm to your skin but also harms your inner self. Wouldn’t you feel a little less confident when your skin is not clear?

Acne does damage to your skin by leaving scars on your face which may be hard to treat.

Sometimes it leads to anxiety, depression and reduced self-confidence. Sometimes, it becomes quite unidentifiable to know the exact reasons behind this acne.

Thus, we’ve figured out the easy and best way for you to read and know. Let’s look at the acne causes and symptoms in detail.

What causes Acne? Acne Causes

causes of acne image

There are many crucial factors involved in the appearance of acne.

The occurrence of acne depends on the way the skin reacts to Hormonal changes. These hormonal changes can either occur during the teenage years or at the time of pregnancy.

Depending on the skin type, an individual exhibits two types of acne as listed below:

  1. Inflammatory Acne – Generally characterized by the presence of pimples
  2. Non-inflammatory Acne – Generally characterized by the presence of whiteheads & blackheads) or both

There are a variety of factors that contribute to acne. These acne causes might be environmental, physical or emotional etc. The main causes of acne are:

1. Acne due to StressCauses of acne- stress

If you think stress can only make you mentally disturbed then you are wrong. Expert says that the main cause of acne may be stress.

You may be having acne when you are taking too much on yourself. You will notice the following:

  • When a person is in stress, his body releases a hormone called “Cortisol“.
  • Cortisol tells your body to release more pore-clogging oil when you are in stress.
  • If you feel your breakouts tend to match with the time when you are in tension, that may be the proof that the main cause of your acne is Stress.

2. Acne Due to Hormonal Changes

causes of acne- hormones imbalance

Hormonal changes may be one of the reasons that contribute to acne. It is the second most important factor that we see in most cases while looking for the causes of acne.

  • Whenever you enter an age of 12 to 13 years, your body experiences a lot of hormonal changes.
  • These hormonal changes trigger your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
  • If sebum got increased, it blocks more hair follicles and may lead to the formation of acne spots.
  • In women, this may occur during perimenopause.

3. Acne Due to Overactive Sebaceous Glands


sebaceous gland acne

Sebaceous glands are responsible for producing sebum in our body. This is one of the greatest factors responsible for causing acne breakouts on our skin.

  • Sebum is a thick mixture of oil and skin cells.
  • These glands go into the overproduction state when you have acne and result in extra sebum.
  • Sebum blocks your follicles & turns bacterias in the species known as “Propionibacterium acne.”

Check out: Acne Home Remedies

4. Acne Due to Food Diet

Acne fast food

Your daily food diet is one of the main things that affect the generation of acne.

  • Teenagers eat more junk food, chocolates, sugar etc. and fast food produces more sebum in their bodies.
  • According to Linda K. Franks (who is a well-known dermatologist in New York City), simple carbs & sugar can lead to the spike in your blood.
  •  Carbohydrates and sugar trigger skin’s inflammatory system which may cause acne on your skin.
  • Academy of Dermatology has also found that consuming more chocolate causes more acne lesions.

If your skin is more affected by acne then try to avoid all such junk food.

5. Acne due to High Testosterone or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)


causes of acne- pcos

Sometimes extreme levels of acne reflect that something is wrong with your hormonal components.

  • Hormonal components such as high testosterone levels or polycystic ovarian syndrome may cause acne production.
  • According to Mitch Chasin, “PCOS affects 5 to 10% of women thereby causing acne on their skin.”
  • Higher testosterone or reduced insulin levels in the blood may result in the worst acne with excessive facial hair growth & irregular menstrual cycle.

If you feel any such problem, then you may consult your doctor. Doctor will do a blood test and starts your treatment as per your health problem

Other Possible Causes of Acne

Sometimes things that can irritate your skin can cause acne. It might be certain sports equipment, dog’s tongue, etc. Exposure to extreme temperature, friction with clothes and cosmetics can also cause acne.

Acne is supposed to occur in male and female during puberty. Boys are more affected than girls during this period.

An estimation says that about 3 out of 10 have bad acne, and need proper treatment to prevent scars.
Acne treatment also depends on the condition or time span of acne occurrence.

Have we missed any other causes of acne? We hope our article may be of great help to you. Let us know in the comment section below if you have anything to suggest.

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