• Sashi Verrall

What Causes Acne?

Acne occurs when the pores of your skin become blocked with oil, dead skin, or bacteria.

Each pore of your skin is the opening to a follicle. The follicle is made up of a hair and a sebaceous (oil) gland. The oil gland releases sebum (oil), which travels up the hair, out of the pore, and onto your skin. The sebum keeps your skin lubricated and soft.

One or more problems in this lubrication process can cause acne. It can occur when:

too much oil is produced by your follicles dead skin cells accumulate in your pores bacteria build up in your pores. These problems contribute to the development of pimples. A pimple appears when bacteria grow in a clogged pore and the oil is unable to escape.

What are the risk factors for developing acne?

Myths about what contributes to acne are quite common. Many people believe that foods such as chocolate or French fries will contribute to acne. While there’s no scientific support for these claims, there are certain risk factors for developing acne.

These include: hormonal changes caused by puberty or pregnancy certain medications, such as certain birth control pills or cortical-steroids, a diet high in refined sugars or carbohydrates, such as bread and chips having parents who had acne.

How is acne treated?

At-home care

Cleaning your skin daily with a anti-bacterial cleanser (Salicylic acid-Ant-bacterial) to remove excess oil and dirt shampooing your hair regularly and keeping it out of your face using makeup that’s water-based or labelled “noncomedogenic” (not pore-clogging)not squeezing or picking pimples, which spreads bacteria and excess oil not wearing hats or tight headbands not touching your face.


If self-care doesn’t help with your acne, a few over-the-counter acne medications are available. Most of these medications contain ingredients that can help kill bacteria or reduce oil on your skin. These include:

Benzoyl peroxide is present in many acne creams and gels. It’s used for drying out existing pimples and preventing new ones. Benzoyl peroxide also kills acne-causing bacteria. Sulfur is a natural ingredient with a distinctive smell that’s found in some lotions, cleansers, and masks.Resorcinol is a less common ingredient used to remove dead skin cells.Salicylic acid is often used in soaps and acne washes. It helps prevent pores from getting plugged.

Sometimes, you may continue to experience symptoms. If this happens, you may want to seek medical advice. Your doctor can prescribe medications that may help reduce your symptoms and prevent scarring. These include:

Women with hormonal acne may be treated with birth control pills or spironolactone. These medications regulate hormones that can cause acne through a decrease in oil production. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is a vitamin-A-based medication used to treat certain cases of severe nodular acne. It can cause serious side effects, and it’s only used when other treatments don’t work.

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