Affecting anywhere from 40 million to 50 million Americans, acne is the most common skin disorder in the United States. Nearly 85% of people will develop this condition at some point during their lifetime, most commonly during their adolescence: research shows that by their mid-teens, more than 40% of teenagers will have acne or acne scarring. As a result, many people will visit the best acne dermatologists in their area, seeking treatment. But as common as acne is, it isn’t always clear what could be causing these bumpy marks on your skin. Could it be that you are eating too much chocolate and greasy food, as many people claim? Or could your acne be caused by dirt and oil clogging your pores? Read on to learn about the different factors that can cause this common skin problem.
- Oil–Your skin needs oil to remain supple and movable. However, if your skin overproduces oil, your hair follicles can become clogged, creating an environment that is perfect for the growth of bacteria. Washing your skin regularly can decrease this problem, but be careful: washing too much can be equally damaging.
- Irregular Shedding of Dead Skin Cells– Similar to an overproduction of oil, dead skin cells can cluster around your hair follicles, creating a bacteria-rich environment that can lead to pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and cysts. While popular culture tells us that the problem is in our pores, this is false: pores have little to do with the formation of acne. Instead, the problem results when normal functions, such as the disposal of dead skin cells, goes awry.
While the two factors listed above are the medical cause of acne, several factors and behaviors can also trigger or aggravate cases of acne. These include:
- Hormones– As previously mentioned, acne typically begins and reaches its worst state during the teenage years. This is due to the hormones that activate puberty and resulting changes in the body: hormones increase the amount of oil that the skin produces, making it more likely that hair follicles will become clogged. Hormones are also produced during pregnancy and as a result of oral contraceptives, creating the same effect in pregnant women and those taking birth control.
- Medication–Birth control isn’t the only medication that can cause acne. Drugs containing corticosteroids, hormones and lithium have also been linked to this skin problem. For this reason, among others, it is recommended that you always discuss the potential side effects of your medication with your doctor.
- Diet–While the idea that eating chocolate and greasy foods will cause acne is nothing but a myth, studies have indicated that dairy products and carbohydrate foods, like chips and bread, may lead to acne due to an increase in blood sugar.
While there are a number of factors that can cause oil and other natural skin products to clog your hair follicles, scientific research has lead to a number of acne therapies and treatment options that have proven to be extremely effective, including laser acne treatment and a wide array of acne treatment products. By working with a dermatologist, you can work to identify the cause of your skin problems and single out the best acne dermatologist treatment for your individual case. Research the best acne dermatologists in your area today to begin working on a solution for your skin. Find out more here.