Almost every adolescent experiences some type of acne problem. Without proper treatment and skin care, some acne can scar the skin. In order to reduce the occurrence of acne breakouts and prevent scarring, it is important to understand the causes of acne and know what the most effective methods of acne treatment are.
Causes of Acne – An acne problem occurs when overactive sebaceous glands produce too much oil and plug follicles in the skin. There is some confusion, however, about what causes this to happen more with some people and not as much with others. Effective acne treatment and prevention of acne scar formation depends upon a clear understanding of the real causes of acne and how they can be effectively addressed.
Genetics: The primary causes of acne are biological. During adolescence, the skin cells lining the inside of hair follicles begin to shed heavily, and the skin’s oil production increases. As a result, the hair follicles become plugged, and acne eruptions appear on the skin. The degree to which acne develops is determined primarily by genetics. A teenager whose parents suffered from moderate or severe acne will most likely have a similar acne problem. A cosmetic dermatologist can provide effective acne treatment to alleviate even the most extensive acne problem and use advanced acne scar removal procedures to help restore a clear, healthy complexion.
Medication: Some types of medication can also cause acne, but this occurrence is rare in comparison to genetically linked acne. Drugs that have been shown to cause acne include anabolic steroids and corticosteroids, some anticonvulsants, lithium, isoniazid and rifampin, immunosuppressants, and drugs containing iodine. If you are taking any of these medications and suspect that the medication may be the cause of your acne problem, do NOT stop taking it. Instead, speak with your doctor to see if you can change medications or to determine an appropriate acne treatment.
Oily Skin: Contrary to common belief, acne is not caused by oily skin. However, because oily skin and acne are both caused by the excess production of oil by sebaceous glands during adolescence, oily skin is often mistaken as the cause of acne. Acne is caused primarily by clogged follicles under the surface of the skin, not by oil on the skin. For controlling acne, good skin care habits that include daily washing are important to maintain skin health and clear excess oil from the skin. However, excessive washing and harsh products can irritate skin and possibly cause an acne scar problem.
The Foods You Eat: Many people believe that certain foods cause or worsen an acne problem, but diet has very little influence on acne. Eating a balanced and healthy diet can improve overall health. Avoiding foods that appear to aggravate your skin problems may help lessen the severity of an acne breakout, but changing what you eat is not an effective acne treatment.
Stress: There is some evidence to suggest that stress may aggravate an acne problem, but it is not a primary cause. In many cases, a particularly bad acne flare-up is the source of stress, rather than a result of it. Stress management techniques can help improve overall physical and mental health, but they are not an effective acne treatment.
Hormonal Changes: In many people, hormonal changes trigger acne. The hormonal shifts that take place during puberty are partially responsible for initiating an adolescent’s acne problem. Some women have breakouts that occur or worsen at certain points in the menstrual cycle or during pregnancy. However, the primary factor that determines whether acne will appear is genetics.