What Are the Most Common Causes of Acne?

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What Are the Most Common Causes of Acne?

Woman in a bath robe checking her skin in the mirror.
When it comes to
acne, there are several factors that can cause a flare-up. Generally, there are four things that can cause someone to develop acne: excess oil, clogged hair follicles, bacteria, and inflammation. This can happen on any part of the body, but is most common on areas that have a lot of sebaceous glands, including the face, chest, back, and shoulders. Here are some of the conditions that can trigger the development of acne.

Hormonal Changes

During puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, the production of androgens increases dramatically, causing the sebaceous glands to enlarge. As they expand, the sebaceous glands make more sebum, the natural oil of your skin. This excess oil can create blockages in your hair follicles, leading to the formation of acne. 

Diet

Some studies have shown that eating foods high in refined sugars or carbohydrates—such as candy, soda, or white breads—can worsen acne. Since these foods have a high glycemic index, they can increase your blood sugar, causing an increase in hormones. While the correlation between diet and acne needs more research, many people find that their skin health improves when eating foods with a low glycemic index. 

Pomades

This is a possible culprit for the development of acne in patients with skin of color. Since the oil in pomade blocks pores on the forehead and scalp, it often leads to blackheads or whiteheads. In rare cases, it may lead to a bacterial infection in the scalp called folliculitis. If using pomade, only apply it one inch behind your hairline.

Certain Medications

Any drug that affects the production of hormones can cause you to develop acne. This includes corticosteroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, B vitamins, and testosterone.

Need Help Controlling Your Acne? Dr. Steven Greene Can Help

Acne can be difficult to treat on your own, especially if there is an underlying cause. If you want to achieve clearer skin and explore the different treatment options available, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle at 206-402-4797 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Steven Greene. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Greene can create a personalized treatment plan that meets your goals. We welcome patients living in Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and the surrounding areas of Washington.

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