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What Causes Acne?

There is just one cause of acne, which is the blockage of hair follicles with sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria, but there are many reasons why this happens. Sebum is the natural oil of the skin to protect it and keep it lubricated, but hormonal changes such as puberty can cause the skin to produce too much oil so that the excess may clog the pores. The natural aging process of skin cells will also clog the pores along with the bacteria that are always on the skin.

The Main Causes

Hormonal changes are considered the most common cause of acne. Heredity may play a part because the hormonal changes may be inherited from a parent or grandparent. While the hormonal changes at puberty are the most commonly connected to acne, it can form in people from 11 years old to over 50 years old. Certain prescription medications may cause acne breakouts including birth control pills as they affect hormonal levels.

Different Forms

The mildest form of clogged pores is blackheads and whiteheads. These occur on the top layers of the skin and rarely leave scars. Blackheads occur when the clog is exposed to air. When it is sealed under the skin it appears as a whitehead.

Pustules and papules — often called pimples — may occur when the infection ruptures the top layer of skin and the infection goes deeper into the skin. Pustules are closer to the surface and papules are deeper. When the inflammation goes even deeper it is called a cyst.

Common Misconceptions

• Greasy food such as fried foods, pizza and chocolate has been popularly linked to breakouts, but this is usually a myth. While they may not be good for overall health, there is no research that directly links them to acne breakouts.

• Dirt is not the cause of blackheads. They are black because the oil is oxidized. In many cases, excessive washing of the face with strong scrubs can irritate and dry out the skin without having an effect on acne breakouts.

• Makeup may clog pores during the day but if it is removed before strenuous exercise or before going to bed, there is no direct link between wearing makeup and acne breakouts.

When you visit our specialist, your skin blemishes will be examined and a course of treatment may be prescribed. Our specialist may ask questions about your medical history and general lifestyle in order to try to find the cause for your breakouts. Once your unique skin condition is determined, there may be treatments to help you have clear skin again. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation! Bentley Skincare & Wellness & Wellness is conveniently located in Springfield, MO.

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