What are the Main Causes of Acne?

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Acne is an extremely common skin ailment that affects the majority of people at some point in their life. The condition causes breakouts of spots, extremely oily skin and even skin that becomes hot and painful to touch. Acne can affect any part of the body but is most commonly found on the face, the back and the chest.

Acne is particularly prevalent in adolescents and young adults, with around 80% of people aged between 11-30 years old being affected by the irritating skin condition at some point in their lives. In regards to gender and Acne; girls are most likely to be affected by Acne between the ages of 14-17, with boys suffering through the condition between the ages of 16-19.

Once the condition has first presented itself, it tends to linger around for several years before symptoms of the ailment start to improve as the afflicted person ages – by the time someone is in their mid-20s, the condition has often, thankfully completely disappeared.

With that being said, some people are genuinely very unlucky and the condition lingers into their adult life. The data suggests that roughly 5% of women, and just over 1% of men have the condition passed the age of 25 years old.

 

 

What’s Causing My Acne?

Puberty

Although for many suffering Acne during puberty this might not sound like good news – the good news is that Acne is often a result of puberty and not a life-long affliction. For the vast majority of those affected by the irritating skin ailment, by the age of 25 the condition should no longer be so much of a bother.

Puberty is a significant cause of Acne primarily because of its impacts on hormones in the body; some of the hormones affected by puberty cause glands that produce grease to create larger amounts of oil, or sebum. If this excess oil manages to make its way into a hair follicle, which isn’t entirely hard as we are covered in hair follicles – it can cause a blockage.

This abnormal production of sebum interacts strangely with a usually harmless bacteria found on our skin called P.acnes –  making the bacteria become more aggressive and harmful to the body. If this bacterium finds its way into a hair follicle alongside the overproduced sebum, it can cause inflammation, pus and eventually a spot. If you are going through puberty, here are a list of creams to help clear your acne.

 

Other Hormonal Changes

Puberty is usually the first thing we think of when we think of Acne, but other significant and naturally occurring hormonal changes can cause the condition to develop. Hormonal changes during the female menstrual cycle as well as during pregnancy can have the same impact upon Sebum production and the bacterium P.acnes.

 

Genetics

Sadly, if both of your parents suffered Acne during adolescence, it’s likely you will too. Studies have shown that you are four-times more likely to suffer from Acne if you have a first-degree relative that suffered from the condition. Although the research into genetics and their impact on Acne are limited, early investigations have shown that genetic mutations and predispositions are likely the reason, e.g. Some family lineages may have a genetic abnormality that cause their immune systems to react aggressively to the bacteria P.acnes – therefore increasing inflammation and acne throughout subsequent generations.

 

 

Treating Acne

As most of us have suffered Acne at some point in our lives, we all understand how damaging the skin condition can be on someone’s self-confidence. That’s why it’s important to find a treatment plan that works for you and helps you keep breakouts under control. There are plenty of fantastic topical Acne creams, ointments and lotions available that can also help to keep your Acne under control. However here are some general techniques for dealing with Acne you might find useful:

  • Keep Your Skin Clean – Make sure you keep your skin clean by washing your face using an incredibly mild soap or some cleanser. When washing your face make sure you only use lukewarm water, this is because very hot or very cold water can inflame the skin making Acne worse.
  • Don’t Over Wash Your Skin Though! – Try not to wash affected areas of skin on your body any more than twice a day. Washing your skin too much, especially with soapy products can aggravate it. This will leave your skin dry and much sorer than the Acne alone ever was.
  • Don’t Pop Your Spots – If your spots burst naturally, that’s one thing – however don’t try to pop spots by yourself. By trying to pop the spots yourself, you will likely spread the P.acnes bacteria over your skin encouraging another outbreak of Acne. Popping spots, although satisfying, puts you at risk of developing severe scarring later on in life which might leave your face with pocketed. If your spots do pop, try experimenting with a multitude of the available Acne Creams to reduce scarring and the chance of reinfection.
  • Try Steer Clear of Make-Up – Although your make-up may provide you with some confidence by helping you to cover up a bad breakout on your skin, it will overall likely do far more damage and encourage the spread of the Acne. If you do use make-up try to only use products that are water-based and non-comedogenic (less likely to block your pours). Also remember to remove make-up before you go to bed, otherwise you may be blocking your pours and encouraging the P.acnes bacterium.

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