What Causes Acne and How You Can Prevent It


Acne is a very common condition that affects the skin, causing pimples on various parts of the body like the face, upper back, chest and shoulders. Skin has tiny holes called pores that may become blocked by excess oil, dead skin cells and dirt, which may also trap bacteria. These blockages may lead to different types of pimples or zits that can lead to discomfort, scarring and emotional stress. It must be remembered though that this condition is extremely common, affecting almost 10% of people worldwide.

Sometimes acne can be extremely severe and cause a lot of pain, but there are treatments available that can mitigate it. If you are in need of a consultation in order to run through some of the available treatments, we recommend these Dermatologist in Islamabad if you reside in that city.

Types of Acne

The most common types of acne are whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads, known as closed comedones, appear as raised bumps under the surface of skin, while blackheads, known as open comedones, are open to the air at the surface which gives the head of the pimple its black coloration.

Other, inflammatory lesions, that are more likely to leave deep scars, include:

  • Cysts: These are pus-filled pimples that feel soft and sensitive to touch.
  • Papules: These are small red or pink bumps under the skin caused by inflamed hair follicles.
  • Pustules: These are similar to cysts in that they contain pus, but they also appear to have red rings around their large white heads.
  • Nodules: These are hard, solid pimples deep under the surface of the skin, and are usually very large and painful.
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Acne is primarily caused by hormone changes, as it is affected by androgen hormones, which are usually very active during teenage years, which is why acne is normally associated with puberty. If you are particularly sensitive to these hormones, you may have a more severe response and develop bad acne if your skin is not regularly cleaned. Specific causes include:

  • Menstrual periods causing hormonal changes
  • Physically aggravating acne sores via picking and scratching
  • Using headgear that traps moisture and dirt
  • High humidity or particularly polluted air
  • Using oil-based skin products
  • Genetic inheritance, as a family history of bad acne puts you at risk of developing a similarly severe form
  • Stress can aggravate acne
  • Certain medications may also increase your likelihood of developing bad acne
  • Certain foods like chocolate and others that have high sugar content may cause the condition


Though there are many cases where an individual may just be genetically predisposed to having bad acne, there are certain things they can do to mitigate the severity of the condition. These include:

  • Washing one’s face regularly with lukewarm water and a mild face wash that is made for sensitive acne-prone skin
  • Regularly using moisturisers that are water-based instead of oil-based
  • Avoiding constant touching of your face throughout the day, especially if your hands are not regularly cleaned
  • Avoiding the use of comedogenic make-up products, which contain ingredients that may block skin pores, as well as oil-based products
  • Eating a balanced diet that is low in foods that have been associated with aggravating acne, like chocolate
  • Taking steps to reduce stress in daily life
  • If one has long hair, tying it up would reduce the contact of one’s face with built-up sweat and dirt in the hair
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If you already suffer from severe acne, you might want to consider medical treatment options. These online dermatologist can help guide you to the right option for your particular condition.

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About the Author: John Watson