Nobody can be absolutely sure as to what really causes acne. Some experts are of the opinion that the main cause of acne is as a result of an increase in androgen hormone levels; this mostly takes place when one becomes an adolescent. The increase in this androgen levels causes the oil glands to develop, which in turn produces more oil. These excess oil or sebum clogs skin pores enabling bacteria to thrive.
Other experts believe that acne is a genetic condition or that it can be triggered by certain medications. Some cosmetics may trigger acne in some people while hormonal changes in the course of pregnancy may result in acne for a first time or a recurrence.
There are some tiny glands that are just beneath the skin surface which produce sebum or oil. This oil helps in keeping the skin smooth and supple. The skin has small pores that let the sebum come to the skin surface; hairs also develop through the same pores. When one gets to adolescence, more sebum is manufactured due to changes in hormones. The more oil that one produces, the more severe the acne gets.
Causes of mild to moderate acne
This can be categorized as the small pimples, whiteheads and blackheads. This mostly occurs when the skin becomes plugged by the dead cells. In most cases, acne does not go beyond this moderate stage.
The plugged pores can be seen on the skin surface as whiteheads or blackheads. When oil collects beneath the pores that are blocked, papules or pimples are then visible.
Causes of moderate to severe acne
This can be categorized as the skin inflammation and the larger spots. There are some small quantities of bacterium that will normally be present on the skin and cause no harm. Trouble sets in if huge numbers thrive in the sebum that is trapped. This normally results in skin inflammation making the skin in the surrounding area to be red while the spots get large and are full of pus. In other cases, the pus gets even bigger and grow into cysts which in turn result in scarring.
Other rare acne causes:
Certain ailments in women or girls may result in acne or make acne that is already present worse. A good example is the polycystic syndrome of the ovary which causes extra male hormones to be produced in the adrenal gland or the ovary. Some other rare cause could be exposure to unhealthy chemicals in places of work.
Below are some factors that actually worsen acne
- Using the contraceptive pills.
- Hormonal changes when women have their periods.
- Dressing in tight fitting clothes which can cause friction and sweating.
- Steroids that are illegally taken by bodybuilders can make acne worse.
- Sweating contributes greatly in blocked pores. People who live in humid climates are bound to get acne outbreaks.
- Picking or squeezing spots and pimples makes acne worse.
- Greasy or thick make ups that contribute in blocking skin pores.
- Some medications do worsen acne. Some medications that treat epilepsy can trigger acne or certain ointments.
- Anxiety; stress can affect adrenaline levels which can in turn result in acne.
It is important for a person to understand what is causing or triggering the acne so as to be better placed to know the measures to take to bring the acne down without causing further damage to the skin.