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What causes acne?

by Aliya Turarbek
What causes acne?

Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. Several factors contribute to the development of acne:

  1. Excess Oil Production (Sebum): The skin has sebaceous glands that produce an oily substance called sebum. Excess sebum production can lead to clogged pores, providing an ideal environment for acne-causing bacteria to thrive.

  2. Clogged Pores: When dead skin cells mix with sebum, they can block hair follicles, resulting in the formation of comedones (whiteheads or blackheads).

  3. Bacteria: Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a type of bacteria that lives on the skin and plays a role in the development of acne. When trapped within clogged pores, these bacteria can multiply, leading to inflammation and the formation of pimples.

  4. Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly during puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or when starting or stopping birth control pills, can increase sebum production, contributing to acne.

  5. Genetics: A family history of acne can predispose individuals to developing the condition. Genetics may influence factors such as skin type, oil production, and how the skin responds to hormones.

  6. Certain Medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids, and certain drugs containing androgens or lithium, can contribute to acne development.

  7. Diet: While the link between diet and acne isn't fully established, some studies suggest that high glycemic index foods and dairy products might exacerbate acne in some individuals.

  8. Stress: Stress can trigger hormonal changes in the body, potentially aggravating acne or making it more difficult to manage.

Understanding the causes of acne can help in implementing appropriate preventive measures and choosing effective treatments tailored to an individual's specific skin type and condition. Consulting with a dermatologist can provide personalized guidance and treatment options for managing acne.

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