Causes of Acne

There is not just one thing that causes acne. So many different things can cause it, that, trying to find the cause and cut that problem out, can often be difficult. Acne occurs when cells close to the surface of the skin block the openings to the sebaceous glands. When this happens, there is a buildup of sebum (oil) underneath the skin.

This oil stimulates bacteria that is found on everyone’s skin and causes them to multiply because they feed on it. This multiplication results in inflammation of the surrounding tissues. While there is really no one cause (other than oil multiplying the bacteria), there are a lot of factors that can contribute to acne and, when bunched together, cause it. The list is never exhaustive, but a few examples are:


  • Heredity: If acne is something that is common in a family, there is a possibility that it will spread from parent to child. While it won’t be the same as the parents, heredity does contribute.
  • Follicle fallout: As the body sheds dead skin cells to replace them with new ones, the hair follicle gets clogged with the skin cells. This blockage makes it so that the sebum cannot get out which results in acne.
  • Overproduction of sebum: Sometimes, the issue isn’t that there is a blockage, but that there is simply too much sebum being created that it gets backed up as it is released. This results in the pimples that appear from acne.
  • Hormones: Especially for women, they go through cycles where their hormones fluctuate. It is because of this that, during some times of the month, a woman might have more acne and during others, she might have no acne.
  • Stress: Considerable amounts of stress and frustration, whether with life or with a job, can lead to acne. Tension causes the glands to close up and that results in the backup of sebum that would otherwise be released.


If there is acne, go to the doctor and see if he/she can prescribe some sort of an antibiotic to treat it. It is important to understand, though, that acne is not caused by dirt. One of the things people try to do when they realize they have acne is wash their face and scrub away at it.

What this does is simply irritate the skin and make the acne worse. If the goal is to try and get rid of any excess oil and dead skin cells, simply cleanse it. Scrubbing it will only make the acne worse.


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