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What Causes Acne?

While growing up as a teenager, you may have expected acne to occur as a normal part of adolescence. If you only have a few pimples, then this is not such a big problem. However, if your acne is more severe, then this part of growing up becomes a real issue.

There are not many conditions where your facial appearance is affected, and this is during a time where you want to be more self confident, not less. So what causes acne? And can you do anything about these? Let's have a look at these 2 questions right here in this article.

The causes of acne include:

1. Hormones

During teenage years, and even until adulthood, our hormones exert an effect on our skin. Specifically, the testosterone levels in both men and women causes the sebum production in our skin to increase, which means more chances of breakouts. And some people's skin are more sensitive to these hormones than others. For most part, this cannot be changed much, but women have the option of using the birth control pill which can improve acne.

2. Diet

It has been shown in some recent studies that a high GI (glycemic index) diet is associated with more acne than a low GI diet. The reason for this is unclear, but it is already known that a low GI diet causes less major health problems, and so their benefits seems to include the skin as well. So have a look at your diet and ensure that you include healthier foods including fish, lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains instead of processed foods.

3. Hereditary factors

If either of your parents had acne, then you may have an increased chance of having it as well. While acne is not totally inherited, it may play a role in some cases. There's nothing too much that you can do about this, but look at your eating habits (as these are often passed down through the generations) and see if it needs to be changed to include healthier, low GI foods.

4. Toxins

While not proven, it is often thought that toxins from our environment which gets into our bodies is excreted through our skin, hence resulting in acne. This could be especially so from toxins in our bowel. So again, be careful of how much processed foods that contain high levels of artificial colors, flavours and preservatives you are having. You can reduce or ideally get rid of them from your diet and see if it makes a difference to your skin.

5. Skin touching or rubbing

Rubbing the skin causes the sebaceous glands to make more sebum or oil, which in turn means more chances of breakouts. This is something that many people forget when they have acne, and they touch or pinch their pimples, which in turn can be making their skin worse. So handle your skin gently, and to wash your face gently once or twice a day, and not excessively. And be careful with exfoliation products, as their harsh textures can also over stimulate the skin.

6. Blocked pores

Blocked pores can be actually caused by either genetic factors or environmental. Genetic factors can cause your skin to exfoliate in an uneven way to cause blockage of pores (instead of exfoliating perfectly evenly and thus not result in any acne). You can also cause your pores to block up with the use of oily sunscreens or moisturizers. If you use these, use the non oily formulations, and wash them off gently at the end of the day.

So there you have it.

These causes of acne produce these 3 effects on the skin: increased sebum production, blocked pores and as a result of the excess oil and blockage, bacterial overgrowth. While the causes of acne are still not fully understood, the causes you've just learnt about are believed to be some of the most important factors that can cause or worsen acne.

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