The causes of acne are yet to be established. However certain causes and risk factors that have a definite link have been put forward.

Acne vulgaris or just acne are small papules or skin lesions which commonly occur on the face, neck, shoulders and the upper back. One or two lesions can be called pimples, but a breakout of pimples, which persist is called acne.

They are usually seen appearing at puberty but can come at any teen age. They are also seen in adults due to certain causes.  The causes of acne are mainly hormonal changes that occur during puberty and teenage.

What Causes Acne?

The root cause of acne is the hormonal change that take place during different periods in life or due to certain conditions that bring about this change. Acne commonly occur during puberty and teenage and are the result of the hormonal changes that take place in the body at that period.

It is during puberty that the sebaceous glands come to life and start secreting sebum, an oily substance. This stimulation of the sebaceous glands is brought about by the male sex hormones, androgens, secreted by the adrenal glands at puberty in both males and females. Androgens include the male sex hormones, testosterone, which is found in higher quantities in boys and girls during this adolescent period.

Our skin has a number of small pores and these pores are connected to the sebaceous glands. These sebaceous glands secrete the sebum through the pores onto the skin. The dead skin cells are also got rid off through these pores onto the skin.

It is during puberty that the level of the androgen hormone rises, which causes more secretion of sebum. During puberty, the hormonal changes that take place in the body, stimulate the sebaceous glands to secrete more sebum and this results in the clogging of the pores.

Dead skin cells get trapped inside. Bacterial infection sets in. This clogging gives rise to swelling and results in pimples. An outbreak of pimples is called Acne.

Some studies indicate that predisposition to acne could also be genetic. If one or both of your parents had acne, it is likely that you could also inherit the trigger factors that cause overproduction of sebum and subsequent clogging of the hair follicles.

Another cause of acne could be the consistent use of greasy cosmetics.

Some drugs contain androgens and can give rise to acne. Other drugs include steroids, stopping or starting of oral contraceptives, anti-seizure drugs, and lithium

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also stimulate acne formation.

According to a new study published in the journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a diet containing high glycemic index foods is linked to acne. These foods are foods that contain carbohydrate-rich foods and dairy products.

Emotional stress is a factor which does not cause acne, but can aggravate an existing condition. This link between stress and acne is yet to be explained, but that there is a link, is established. Students do see a flare up of existing acne during stressful times, like for example during an exam.

If you have acne, identifying the causes of acne associated with you, can help in treating this condition.


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