Acne Causes And Activators
The Causes of Acne Breakouts
By now, you are probably wondering what causes the excessive sebum production that triggers outbreaks of acne. Well, the scientific community would like to know the answer to that question, too, because we haven’t yet pinned down the root causes of acne with absolute certainty. Nor have we achieved a foolproof cure for this extraordinarily widespread disorder.
But we do know that genetics (i.e., heredity) and hormonal activity play key roles in acne formation, and that other factors such as emotional stress, fever, sore throat, allergies, hives, and allergic reactions to certain skin care products, cosmetics, and medications can aggravate an existing case of acne or give rise to a flare-up.
The role of Androgens in Acne Formation
A surge in the production of a group of hormones collectively known as androgens, in particular, seems directly linked to the development of acne, especially among adolescents and teens. Both men and women secrete androgens, or "male” hormones, so called because they prompt the expression of male sexual characteristics like facial hair growth and the development of large, bulky muscles.
Men, however, generally secrete them in greater numbers and are therefore more likely than women to suffer from severe or problem acne. Many androgens, such as corticosteroid and testosterone, fall into the steroid family of hormones, and it has been well established that these substances serve to trigger a chain of events that often culminates in acne.
The process works like this: High levels of androgen in the bloodstream enlarge the oil glands, which in turn causes a rise in sebum production and thickening of the cells that line the walls of the oil ducts, thus setting the stage for one of the various types of breakouts we described above.
Acne and Your Period
This catalytic (or triggering) effect is usually most pronounced at the onset of puberty and during the teen years, when hormonal activity increases dramatically in both sexes. That’s why so many of us experience our worst bouts of acne as teenagers.
But you can also observe the process at work among both teen and adult women in connection with the menstrual cycle. Some 60 percent to 70 percent of women, in fact, suffer acne breakouts tied to the heightened hormonal levels that occur about a week before their period actually starts.
In some cases, these breakouts can be controlled or even eliminated by drugs designed to correct hormonal imbalances. In others, the flare-ups may be so minor and short-lived that your dermatologist will advise that you allow them to subside on their own. But either way, the first step to take note of when the breakouts happen in relation to your cycle. This will give you—and your dermatologist – a clue to whether the acne is linked to your period.
The Most Common Types Of Acne
A look at the different types of Acne, Perioral Dermatitis Acne, Acne Rosacea, and Acne Vulgaris, all causes of pimples and zits.
Types Of Acne