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Why Are You Breaking Out? Understanding Five Causes of Acne

Waking up to a brand-new breakout is a quick way to ruin your day. Acne may feel like it attacks your skin without warning, but there are things you can do to get your complexion under control if you understand the causes of acne and how to avoid them.

In this article, we’ll discuss five main causes of acne and the steps you can take to prevent unwanted pimples in the first place.

Five Top Causes of Acne

You’re in good company if you’re tired of tender, inflamed skin.

The American Academy of Dermatology reports that approximately 85% of young adults will deal with acne in some form, making its treatment a $1.2 billion industry annually. And despite its reputation as a teen problem, breakouts can continue well into your forties.

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with occasional whiteheads or painful chronic cysts, there are a few causes of acne responsible for the majority of cases.

1.      Blocked Follicles

As the small sacs that connect oil glands to your pores, follicles keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Sometimes dirt, dead skin cells, or other debris block these follicles, which leads to irritation and the potential for pimples.

2.      Bad Bacteria

Your skin plays host to hundreds of strands of bacteria, and some are known causes of acne. Research shows that the kind of bacteria on your skin affects how frequently you break out.

But fearing all skin microbes is a mistake, as some strains of probiotics actually work to keep you blemish-free.

3.      Raging Hormones

Your hormone levels shift at the start of puberty, which usually leads to an increase in androgen. This hormone—converted to estrogen in women—causes your oil glands to grow, which may trigger excess oil production that can result in breakouts.  

4.      A Poor Diet

What you eat most often may show up on your skin. 2015 research shows that a diet high in carbohydrates may spike your insulin levels, which overstimulate your oil glands and is considered one of the main causes of acne. Other foods to watch out for include chocolate, trans fats, and dairy.

5.      Dirty (Or Too Clean) Skin and Hair

If you tend to pile on the hair products and makeup or often fail to wash your face before bed, your bad habits are likely a leading reason for your breakouts because they allow dirt and grime to build up on your skin and irritate it.

Likewise, scrubbing all the natural oils off your face with abrasive cleansers can exacerbate the problem by causing your glands to overcompensate with extra oil production. This will make your skin greasier in the long run.

How to Address the Causes of Acne

Here’s some encouragement — a few simple changes can help reduce acne and keep your skin smooth and blemish-free.

The key to a better complexion is prevention, so make the following steps part of your skincare maintenance plan.

–          Wash your face daily with gentle cleansers

–          Focus your diet around fruits and vegetables

–          Refrain from touching your face, especially with dirty fingers

–          Stay away from pore-clogging makeup and hair care products

–          Consider medication designed to keep your hormone levels in check

There are also medicines and treatments you can undergo that will assist with severe acne – ask your dermatologist today if any of these treatment types make sense for you.

Address the Causes of Acne at Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology in Southeast Tennessee

While prevention can go a long way towards clearing up your skin, sometimes you need an expert’s insight to restore your complexion.

At Cumberland Skin Surgery and Dermatology, we are dedicated to helping you diagnose the causes of acne to improve your skin. Our staff is committed to following the best practices in skin care through state-of-the-art technologies that address your concerns.

Our offices in Hermitage, Lebanon, Brentwood, and Hendersonville, Tennessee, offer effective general dermatology, skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic skincare solutions for every patient.

Visit our website at or call at (615) 257-7128 to schedule your first appointment.

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