No one factor causes acne. Most dermatologists believe acne happens when oil (sebaceous) glands come to life around puberty and are stimulated by male hormones produced in the adrenal glands of both boys and girls. The oil glands, which are located just beneath the skin, continuously produce and secrete oil through openings in the skin. If oil is secreted faster than it can move through the pores, a blemish arises. The oil also lubricates and protects the skin. Under certain circumstances, cells close to the openings of the oil glands block the openings. This causes a buildup of oil underneath the skin. Bacteria, which live in everyone's skin, feast on this oil, multiply, and cause the surrounding tissues to become inflamed.
Even though no one factor causes acne, the following do play a role in the condition of one's skin:
Genetics - If your parents had acne there is a good chance that you will too.
Hormones - During adolescence, hormones called androgens become active and stimulate oil glands in your skin, increasing oil production. This, in turn clogs pores, causing pimples and blackheads. Hormonal changes around a womans period or the beginning or ending of oral contraceptive use can also cause an acne flare-up. (In some cases, however, birth control pills are a treatment for acne.)
Stress - While stress can't actually cause acne, it will potentially aggravate this, or any other, skin condition.
Below are some misconceptions about acne.
- The sun (or a sunlamp) is good for acne. Exposure to the sun may dry up pimples, but it hardly seems worth it when you weigh the cons: sun exposure (especially burns) can cause skin cancer and will lead to premature aging.
- Acne will go away by the time you hit age 30. Unfortunately, many adults suffer from acne well into their 50s and older.
- Acne is caused by poor grooming. The presence of acne does not mean your face is dirty.
What can you do about acne?
Your focus should be to: (1) unclog pores, (2) kill bacteria, and (3) minimize oil. If the body is lacking certain nutrients, especially during times of stress or hormonal changes, the body will have difficulty removing the excess toxins and pores will become clogged and infected, causing painful inflammations and unsightly blemishes. When the body has been appropriately nurtured, the skin can often take care of itself; however, when certain nutrients are scarce, the body has difficulty r