What Are the Most Common Causes of Acne?

Blog Archives

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.

Next Page »

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

A woman smiling in a field of yellow flowers.
Hyperpigmentation is caused by the excess production of melanin in your skin. While sun damage is one of the most common reasons for hyperpigmentation, there are other factors that can cause increases in melanin production. At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, Dr. Steven Greene can evaluate your skin and determine the ideal treatment for your poikiloderma, melasma, or other pigment changes.

Hyperpigmentation usually occurs as spots on the skin that are darker than the surrounding tissue. The extra melanin in these spots can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Sun Exposure: Over time, excessive exposure to UV rays can create sunspots or darken freckles. Around 80% of all skin aging and hyperpigmentation is caused by too much sunlight. To help prevent photoaging, make sure to wear sunscreen if you are outside for prolonged periods of time.
  • Inflammation: Any inflammation in the skin can cause hyperpigmentation. The most common culprits for post-inflammatory pigmentation changes are acne, scars, and stretch marks.
  • Hormonal Changes: Major hormonal changes can cause hyperpigmentation such as melasma to appear on multiple areas of the body. This condition mostly affects women who are pregnant or starting/stopping birth control. It also affects those undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
  • Medications: Some medications may lead to hyperpigmentation like patches or dark spots. This includes drugs for malaria, antibiotics, and antiarrhythmics.

At Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle, we have several treatments available for patients looking to correct their skin pigmentation. Some lesions may be successfully treated with laser therapy, chemical peels, or HydraFacial. While not all types of hyperpigmentation respond to treatment, Dr. Greene can help determine if there is a safe, effective solution for you.

Learn More About Our Hyperpigmentation Treatment Options Today

If you want to know what treatment options are available for hyperpigmentation, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today at 206-402-4797 to set up an appointment. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene and his team can carefully evaluate your condition and create a custom treatment plan that addresses your concerns. We are proud to serve patients living in Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and other nearby Washington communities.

Next Page »

Restore Your Skin’s Former Glory with Laser Skin Resurfacing



Your skin can really take a beating. Over the course of your lifetime, your skin has to deal with several issues, leaving it worse for wear. But fractional laser skin resurfacing with the Cynosure Icon 1540® can give your skin its former glow in as little as one treatment. This fractional, non-ablative laser covers a wide range of skin problems, including sun damage, scarring, and the signs of aging.

More » Next Page »

How Are Different Skins of Color Treated for Acne?

Close-up self portrait of smiling young multiethnic female friends taking selfie in the park - women taking a selfie in the park on a bright day
Acne is a common condition that typically affects areas of the face, back, neck, and shoulders. Despite being commonly associated with adolescence, acne outbreaks can happen to women and men of any age. Due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, while starting birth control pills, or just before a menstrual cycle, women are particularly prone to acne.
More »

Next Page »

Mole Removal – Medical or Cosmetic?

image of a mole on a person's shoulder
Surgical mole removal is an effective medical dermatological procedure that can simultaneously improve your appearance and address suspicions of skin cancer.

If you’re bothered by the appearance of a new mole on your skin, call Advanced Dermatology and Laser Institute of Seattle today to schedule a full skin exam with board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene. Dr. Greene has more than twenty-five years of proven experience diagnosing and treating every type of skin cancer.
More »

Next Page »

How to Create a Morning Skin Care Routine for Glowing Skin

woman with beautiful skin from her skin care routineBeautiful, glowing skin takes work to achieve. Not only must you use the right types of skin care products, but you need to apply them in the right order. We’ve created the following list to help ensure you’re including all of the right products in your morning skin care routine. More »

Next Page »

What is the Best Treatment for Sunburn?

Close up of a man's sunburned back on the beach
The summer is a beautiful season in Seattle. Going out for a socially distanced activity in the sunshine is a breath of fresh air right now. As you embrace the rays, we urge you to remember to practice safe fun in the sun: UV damage and sunburns not only increase your risk for skin cancer, but also cause wrinkles, sagging skin and brown spots.
More »

Next Page »

How to Prevent Face Mask Acne

A young woman wears a blue face mask and white hat
The latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asks the American public to wear facial coverings, particularly in crowded situations in which social distancing is difficult or impossible, to prevent spreading COVID-19. But what if your cloth face mask leads to the dreaded “maskne” – acne caused by the friction, sweat, heat and irritation that sometimes accompanies mask wearing? Nobody wants a fresh crop of pimples on their jaw, chin and cheeks. Here are a few tips for preventing breakouts:
More »

Next Page »

What Actually Are Blackheads?

A close up of a man's face with blackheads around the nose and cheek
Blackheads are hair follicles clogged by dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria and grime. Some people get blackheads and acne much worse than the rest of us. Popping them on your own is generally not a good idea because you could make the situation worse. Consult our experienced dermatologist Dr. Steven Greene to learn your treatment options. Dr. Greene has specialized extraction methods to remove the blackhead without damaging surrounding skin. More »

Next Page »

What You Can Do About Rosacea

A young woman with rosacea holds her hands up to her face and looks at the camera
April is Rosacea Awareness Month. Roughly 16 million Americans live with this condition. It can be particularly embarrassing because it’s very conspicuous. There is no cure, but physicians like Dr. Steven Greene can help you control the signs and symptoms.
See our Promotions for special Rosacea Awareness Month pricing! Get $500 off one of Dr. Greene’s rosacea treatments (expires April 30, 2020). More »

Next Page »

Contact Us