What Causes Acne?

It’s often a difficult and frustrating process to try and find an effective acne treatment method that not only works, but works for a long time.  With all the treatment options available ranging from oral and topical antibiotics, over the counter solutions, home remedies and holistic approaches, it can get quite confusing trying to sort out the over-hyped claims from tried and tested solutions.

Here, we are going to address the issue from another angle:  We’ll discuss what seems to be what causes acne in the first place and by understanding the cause, finding an effective solution should be a less stressful task.

Hormones, it’s not just for Teenagers

Even though the scientific community cannot agree upon the exact cause of acne, there does seem to be strong evidence to suggest that hormones play a major role in what causes acne.  The theory goes something like this…

For each hair that extends out of your face, below the surface of the skin is an oil producing gland called the sebaceous gland.  The job of this gland is to secrete oil for the purpose of lubricating the hair follicle (the shaft through which the hair grows) and the pores (the opening through which the hair protrudes).

The oil glands are stimulated to produce oil by hormones, more specifically androgens.  Androgens are a male hormone but oddly enough, women also produce this hormone.

When the production of androgens goes into a hyper-active state, such as puberty, prolonged stress and pregnancy, for example, this hormone causes the oil glands to produce and excessive amount of oil.  While this excess oil is busily being produced, there’s another element in the skin factory, that’s busy doing its thing and that’s the skin regeneration department.

Skin is in a constant state of dying off and regenerating itself.  Because of the excess oil that is being produced, the dead skin becomes clogged in the pores.  The third element that contributes to causing acne is bacteria.  The body produces bacteria which are meant to fight off potentially invading infections.  The problem is, since the pores are now blocked by excess oil and dead skin, this now becomes the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.  The body, now realizing that something bad is happening, enlists the aid of white blood cells to fight the increasing bacterial condition.  This in turn, results in inflammation!

So you can see that because of a change in hormonal levels, a series of events are triggered which cause acne. Is the solution becoming clear to you?  That’s right!  By taking measures to ensure that hormonal levels remain in balance, we may just have a long term solution for acne.

So how do we know when our hormones are going out of whack?  The answer is by knowing what causes hormonal changes and taking measures to avoid them as much as possible.  Some things which can cause hormonal changes are stress, menstrual periods, pregnancy, drug interactions, foods and the list goes on.

Of course, some of the causes of hormonal changes cannot be avoided (It’s pretty difficult to be pregnant without a change in hormone levels); however stress is something that most people can definitely take positive steps to control. For unavoidable hormonal changes, the best cause of action would be to seek out natural remedies for bringing the body back into balance.

So there you have it.  Now that you know what causes acne, the next step is to research and find a treatment program that addresses the root cause of hormonal changes and take the necessary steps to keep things in balance.