Senin, 09 Mei 2011

The Causes of Acne

While acne may be a very common occurrence, its causes are still often mired in myth and mystery. Even in this high-tech, digitally connected world, there is still a lot of confusion about what causes pimples and acne. Here's a rundown of the real acne culprits, and what you can do about them:

Acne Cause #1: Genetics

The predisposition to getting acne is one of those traits that gets handed down from generation to generation. Sad to say, if your parents are particularly pimple-prone then chances are you'll be like them too. What can you do about it? Nothing, really. You'll just need to learn how to manage your breakouts so that they do little long-term damage.

Acne Cause #2: Raging Hormones

Pimple breakouts peak right about the age of puberty. That's because the same surge in hormones that cause changes in a teen's body trigger acne breakouts too. The chief acne-causing hormone is testosterone. Spikes in testosterone levels cause the skin's sebaceous glands to make more sebum or oil. This excess sebum tends to combine with dead skin cells which clog the pores and cause pimple breakouts.

In adults, hormone-related acne persists. This is especially true for women who get acne whenever their testosterone levels peak right before menstruation and during pregnancy. Adults who take steroid supplements or are under hormone therapy will also get acne as a side effect. That is why some dermatologists prescribe birth control pills for acne to counteract the effects of testosterone.

Acne Cause #3: Poor Hygiene

Accumulating dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells on your skin will definitely not do wonders for your acne. That is why it is very important to keep your face clean and scrubbed. Use a cleanser for your skin type and thoroughly but gently wash your face at most twice a day. And do try keeping your hands off your face - there's no better way of transferring bacteria and dirt to your skin than through your hands. Remember: while you can't do much about your genes or your raging hormones, there is no excuse for poor personal hygiene.

Acne Cause #4: Acne-Causing Foods

Certain types of foods can trigger acne attacks. Chief offenders are so-called high glycemic foods, or food that cause a spike in insulin levels such as white bread and rice, chips, pastries, sweets and soda. It is believed that the spike in insulin triggers a chain of events that lead to an increase in oil production on the skin. Fatty food have also been linked to more hyperactive oil glands.

Instead of eating junk, opt for green leafy vegetables, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, berries, apples, and grapefruit. These are rich in skin-friendly vitamins and nutrients for clearer skin. And don't forget to drink lots of water too.

Acne Cause #5: Stress

Chronic stress, while generally bad for your body, will wreak havoc on your skin too. That's because stress hormones have been shown to elevate testosterone levels in the body, which in turn makes your skin oilier and lead to pimple breakouts. Take the time to chill out and relax, and make sure you get enough sleep to keep stress levels (and pimples) in check.

There you have it - the top five causes of acne. With this knowledge you can take preventive measures to keep acne at bay. To treat existing acne, you can opt for topical gels and ointments or oral supplements like vitamin B5 to manage your breakouts


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