Common Causes of Acne

Woman's face with acne breakouts

February 8, 2016

Acne is a medical condition that causes inflamed bumps to appear on the skin. These bumps appear when the hair follicles on your body become plugged with oil and dead skin. Acne is most likely to appear on the face, back, neck and shoulders because these are the oiliest areas of the body. While teenagers are the most susceptible to getting acne, anyone can suffer from the skin condition.

The symptoms you experience with your acne will ultimately be determined by the severity of your condition. Whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and painful lumps can all be present if you have this condition. Whiteheads occur when the pores become closed after they are plugged with oil. Blackheads are open plugged pores. Pimples are red bumps that become filled with pus at the tip.

While the severity of your acne will determine the symptoms you experience, every case is caused by the same four things. Acne is unable to form without oil production, dead skin cells, bacteria and clogged pores. The hair follicles are connected to the oil glands. These glands have to produce oil to lubricate your skin and hair. If too much oil is produced and combined with dead skin cells, then the hair follicles can become clogged.

The clogged pore creates the perfect environment for bacteria. Once these bacteria start to infect the clogged pore, inflammation of the skin will start to become visible in the form of acne. The exact appearance of your condition will ultimately be determined by how the hair follicle responds to the bacteria. Whiteheads and blackheads occur when there is no infection. If the bacteria start to infect the hair follicle, then red bumps and pimples will start to appear on the skin.

Large bumps may occur under the skin if your condition is left untreated for an extended period of time. These large bumps will be extremely painful to touch because they are filled with pus. They are also hard to treat because they form under the surface of the skin.

While acne is always caused by the same thing, there are several factors that can trigger the skin condition. Hormonal changes caused by puberty or pregnancy often lead to the condition because the body produces oil during these times. Eating a diet filled with dairy products and carbohydrates, taking certain medications and high levels of stress will also make you more susceptible to getting acne.

Treating acne is all about limiting the presence of oil, dead skin cells and bacteria on the skin. Luckily, there are several products available that are specifically designed to remove these things from your skin. There is no way to completely eliminate your risk of getting acne, so treatment is all about limiting the factors known to cause the skin condition.

Located in La Jolla, Torrey Pines Dermatology & Laser Center offers a variety of treatment options for acne, from Retin-A and antibiotics to hormone therapies, Accutane and lasers. Our office proudly serves the San Diego and surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary appointment to learn more.

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