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What is Acne Vulgaris?
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Main > Specialty Areas > Dermatology >
Pimples and Zits (Acne Vulgaris)

Causes of Acne

It is not completely understood why some people get acne and others don't. Acne is believed to be a combination of heredity, environmental factors, etc. For example, during menstrual cycles and at puberty, some hormonal changes occur in the body which may result in acne. Diet was considered to play a critical role in giving rise to acne, however, now this theory has been debunked. Stress increases hormone production in the adrenal glands which may also result in acne. Sebaceous glands which are hyperactive, or an excessive accumulation of dead cells, bacteria accumulation in the pores of the skin to which the body maybe allergic, etc are all reasons for acne. Anabolic steroids, medicines such as barbiturates, androgens, lithium, and halogens such as iodides, bromides, or chlorides all give rise to acne. Severe acne sometimes results from over exposure to some chlorines like chlorinated dioxins.

Excessive production of sebum and the narrowing of the follicle channel can also cause acne along with other reasons such as excessive shedding of the cells that line the follicle, or uncharacteristic cell binding within the follicle which is known as hyperkeratinization. When there is water retention in the skin it leads to swellings which presses the follicles shut and this also leads to acne. An increase in the production of the male hormone testosterone, DHT or dihydrotestosterone, DHEAS or dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate and 1 IGF-I or insulin-like growth factor.

Adult acne vulgaris is rare, although adults may develop Rosacea which looks like acne. Pregnancy, polycystic ovary syndrome or the Cushing's syndrome may also cause acne in later years. Sometimes, acne also erupts during menopause because the anti-acne ovarian hormone called estradiol diminishes at menopause. This acne is called climacterica and is associated with hot and cold flashes, excessive falling of hair, thinning and wrinkling of the skin, dryness in the vagina, osteoporosis as well as osteopenia. Many people erroneously believe that a diet comprising of excessive fried food, sweets, sugar, seafood, etc cause acne. Dirt, lack of hygiene, masturbation, etc are some other myths associated as causes of acne.

‹‹ What is Acne Vulgaris? Symptoms of Acne ››

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