Common Causes of Acne

An acne blemish is an inappropriate inflammation caused by excess sebum, which leads to bacteria and dead skin cells clogging up the pores. Whilst it presents no immediate danger, acne can have lasting effects on self-esteem, and is experienced by around 85% of the population.


Stress cantrigger breakouts and make existing issues worse due to the production of CRH—or corticotropin-releasing hormone—in stressed individuals. CRH can bind to receptors in the skin’s sebaceous glands, causing an increase in the skin’s oil production, and subsequently, inflammation.
Stress can also trigger a nerve signaling that causes an itch, which in turn, can cause people to scratch or pick at their skin, therefore opening it up to bacteria, or simply making existing blemishes worse.
Stress is also linked to poor sleep and poor diet, both of which could contribute to acne.
It is believed that stress can affect the immune system in a way that slows the healing process, which results in pimples taking longer to heal and becoming more likely to scar.


It is widely believed that the main cause of hormonal acne is a rise in androgen levels. Androgen levels rise during puberty, which is when most children start to experience problems with acne.
Androgen levels cause the oil glands under the skin to grow, and the enlarged gland subsequently produces excess sebum. Sebum can break down cellular walls in the pores, which provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.


Whilst having dirty skin is not a factor contributing to acne, it has been found that in an effort to combat the symptoms of acne, sufferers can be tempted to scrub their face too hard, or use harsh chemicals on their skin that can actually increase the level of inflammation, and make the acne worse. Alternatively, sufferers should look to use natural products that are gentle and kind on the skin, ortry natural face masks for acne in an attempt to clear the skin of excess sebum, and cleanse it of any bacteria that may have formed there.


Whilst it is certainly true that more research is required to identify the exact relationship between diet and acne, it is believed that diet can play a major role in the development and control of acne.
It is believed that foods that cause a spike in glycemic load can cause a spike in IGF-1 levels within the body, which in turn, increases the production of sebum. Foods with a high glycemic load include:
·         breads, especially white bread and bagels
·         sweetened breakfast cereals, such as those with corn flakes, puffed rice, and bran flakes
·         instant cereals, such as oatmeal and grits
·         some fruits and vegetables, including melons, pineapples, pumpkins, and potatoes
·         enriched pastas, such as rice-based pasta
·         short-grain white rice
·         snack foods, such as pretzels, rice cakes, and popcorn
On the flip side, whilst more research is certainly required, it is believed that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce inflammation, and therefore improve acne. As well as this, a diet that is rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber may also help to combat acne.