Acne Breakout Causes: The Facts

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Acne is a dermatological disorder that can be very disfiguring. It is a popular myth than it only affects teenagers, as it is frequently seen in adults too. Acne is a very common condition and it has long-term effects too. Let's take a look at some of the most important acne breakout causes so that we can better understand the reasons why so many people find themselves enduring this unpleasant condition.

How Does It Start?

This is clear enough. Acne has its origins in the blockage of hair follicles in the skin. The sebaceous glands that feed into the follicles, or pores as they are commonly described, produce a natural oil called sebum. The follicles also make keratin, an essential component of the skin's outer layers. Keratin is also an ingredient in hair and nails. Increased production of keratin and sebum may lead to blockage of the follicles and it is this that leads to acne.

It may not sound appealing, but the skin's surface is usually populated with millions on bacteria. One of these, "Propionibacterium Acnes", is normally harmless. When pores become blocked, though, P. Acnes infects the blocked ducts, causing inflammation and damaging the surrounding skin tissue. This is what leads to the appearance of the classic acne symptoms. P. acnes is an anaerobic bacterium, meaning that it does not use oxygen to survive. In fact, it does best in the absence of oxygen so it's perfectly adapted to cause maximum trouble in blocked pores.

Genetics, Hormones And Acne

When looking into acne breakout causes, some important factors come to the fore: hormones and genetics. A predisposition to severe acne definitely runs in families. It is related to the rate of keratin production. In some families, the specific genetic coding for keratin is more active and so each generation tends to suffer acne.

The production of sebum increases at the time of puberty due to the presence of male sex hormones called androgens. These hormones can cause enlargement of the sebaceous glands and an increase in sebum production. Blocked pores occur and when this happens they appear as blackheads, papules, pustules and so on. Sometimes they turn into closed pockets of dead skin cells called milia. In girls and women there are hormonal changes which accompany menstrual cycles and these also contribute to the appearance of acne.

Common acne (known medically as acne vulgaris) is frequently a problem during adolescence and early adulthood. As we have pointed out, though, lots of adults get it too. What are the acne breakout causes later on in life? In women, one identifiable breakout cause is pregnancy, when hormone activity increases. The menopause has also been blamed, and this is due to reducing production of the female hormone estradiol.

Stress and Diet

The popular notion that acne and stress are related has been documented in practice, but the exact cause/effect relationship is still in doubt. One school of thought proposes that an individual that endures chronic stress may be more likely to have an outbreak of acne, or that stress makes an outbreak worse. The controversy lies in the fact that suffering acne is itself a stressful and unpleasant experience, and this alone may be sufficient to explain why stress and acne are frequently observed together.

One of the acne breakout causes that can be controlled is diet. There is some evidence that acne's severity can be reduced by sticking to a good, sensible diet.

Don McRandall provides expert tips on proven ways to clear acne. For more great information on acne breakout causes [] and a free step-by-step mini-course that will teach you what you need to know today about acne and its treatment, visit: [].

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