Why Do I Have Acne?
Spots, pimples, zits, whatever you like to call them they are no fun. When you get to the nuts and bolts of acne, it sucks big time. Many people will have acne some point in their life. However, some of us could have acne way past our teenage years, and it could stay with us in adulthood.
Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition that causes red spots to form on the face, back, shoulders and chest. Acne isn’t infectious, so you won’t catch it or pass it on to another person. During puberty, you may have noticed your skin producing an excess oil called sebum. Acne begins when hair follicles in your skin get blocked with sebum and dead skin cells. Dark spots start to form called ‘blackheads’ and if they get swollen, then you have spots.
Understanding why acne occurs is the best way of clearing up your skin. So, let’s get to reasons why acne wants to visit us.
You Were “Born” With It
Genetics plays a huge role, so it’s not your fault for your acne prone skin. Depending on our genetic composition is how our body’s immune system deals with bacteria. That’s why acne varies from mild to severe. Your friend could just have blackheads, while you are coping with trying to hide the massive red nodules invading your face. You can pretty much blame genetics too when it comes to how effortlessly your pores get plugged. Your body might have the potential to overproduce dead skin cells and then rid of them in a way that will clog your pores.
Puberty Means Hormones
We all know that puberty brings on the acne, but we don’t all know why. The reason is when boys and girls are starting to blossom into men and women, they start to produce masculinizing hormone called androgens. These androgen hormones are the culprits that cause oil producing glands to enlarge and stimulate oil production. When you have lots of oil and not much shedding of the skin, pores become clogged and you have a breeding ground for acne. That’s why teens are prone to acne.
Hormonal imbalance changes can happen to women throughout their lives. Women have a higher tendency to experience acne after puberty. Women might experience acne a week before their period and the increase of hormones during pregnancy could cause a major breakout to occur. Women who suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) have abnormally high levels of androgen hormones and a higher risk of developing acne even after puberty.
Stress Causes Havoc on Your Skin
When you get stressed out, your body copes by releasing cortisol and androgens from your adrenal glands. This produces oil production and can trigger or even worsens your acne. Women are more prone to this type of acne, since they produce more androgens in the adrenal glands than men. Research has shown that adult acne is on the rise because of the stressful society we live in. Try lowering your stress levels with exercise, lots sleep and meditation.
Your Environment and Habits Play A Role
Acne could be triggered with the environment you live in. For example, heat and humidity increases oil production, so acne is easily triggered. Environmental pollutants can cause blackheads, whiteheads, cysts and pustules to form. Personal hygiene, hair care and cosmetics can lead to breakouts. If your skin is sensitive, opt for products that are noncomedogenic or non-pore clogging.
Watch What You Eat and The Medications You Take
Sugary, starchy and processed foods have a high glycemic index, which increase your blood sugar levels and your insulin resistance. When you eat these types of foods very often, your skin releases thick and sticky oil into the pores resulting in breakouts. Some people get acne from the hormones and antibiotics in dairy and meats, so choosing organic or hormone-free foods can help your skin. Medications such as lithium, androgenic steroids, DHEA, progesterone-dominant forms of birth control, and medications containing bromides can disrupt your body’s chemistry and hormones, which leads to breakouts.
Acne isn’t life threatening, but it’s a damper when you are trying to live your life and face the world. When acne starts to sprout, start protecting your skin to minimize your breakouts.