Common Causes of Acne and How to Avoid Them

Breaking out? We can help. Here's the scoop on the causes of acne and how to avoid them

Learn the different causes of acne and how to avoid them

You're probably here because you've had it with your acne and just want someone to tell you what you can do to get rid of it now and forever. As you probably already know, though, it's not that simple. There are many different causes of acne... but the good news is, if you know what they are, you'll be able to avoid them.

The battle against acne is a war that can't be won just by winning a battle. You can treat your acne with a face mask, you can hide your acne under foundation, but your acne is likely going to come back. There is no miracle cure, and you shouldn't buy one that someone is trying to sell you.

However, it's possible to truly treat your acne by understanding the different causes for acne in the first place. Through that understanding, you can not only pursue more effective treatment options but make lifestyle changes that increase the effectiveness of whichever treatment options you do use.

So if you're serious about getting rid of your acne, it's time to take a look at what's causing your acne breakouts and how you can attack those causes.

The Cause: Stress

Our old friend stress returns again. It's no secret that stress is one of the worst things for your overall health, but it turns out that it's also a leading contributor to acne breakouts.

When you're stressed, your adrenal gland starts working overtime and cause your body to produce more neuropeptides. This can lead to your skin producing more oil which results in an acne breakout. You can also get caught in that vicious stress cycle which sees you stress about your acne and suffer through more acne.

How to Treat It

Ideally, you'll want to cut out the stress in your life. Whether that means meditation, drinking soothing teas, or just taking a deep breath is up to you to decide.

Realistically, though, you're going to have to balance stress management with acne treatment options. Unless you're suffering from chronic acne outbreaks amplified by stress, you should be able to rely on over-the-counter acne treatments like creams and pads.

The Cause: What You Put on Your Face

Some people will simply tell you that your makeup can cause acne problems. However, that's not the whole story. The truth of the matter is that anything you put on your face can cause breakouts. That includes whatever acne treatment solutions you may be using.

Certain ingredients in some products naturally cause more breakouts. It can be difficult to say ingredients are the culprits as everyone can react differently to different ingredients. The worst part is that the simple act of changing the products you put on your face can cause breakouts while your body adjusts to the new chemicals.

How to Treat It

Your doctor may be able to help you narrow down which ingredients will trigger your acne, but experimentation may be the simplest answer.

Experimenting can also contribute to breakouts, but the fact of the matter is that you're not going to get to the heart of the problem without trying different solutions. Try out a few different facial products and see what works (and doesn't work) for you. Also, be sure to not wash your face too much and irritate your skin.

The Cause: Your Diet

Diet is one of the most commonly cited causes of acne and for good reason. It really can play a major role in breakouts.

The problem is that there are misconceptions about which parts of your diet are responsible for acne. While things like greasy food and chocolate can cause more acne, they're not nearly as bad for your acne as people would have you believe. The truth is that there are many foods that can cause acne, and the foods aren't always the same for everybody.

How to Treat It

There are a few foods that doctors generally tend to recommend avoiding if you're worried about acne. Those include refined carbs, shellfish, and especially processed foods. Generally speaking, a well-rounded, healthy diet should help you in your fight against acne.

More importantly, you need to be aware of which foods seem to be causing your breakouts. Awareness of your own triggers can help you know which foods you should avoid, which you should cut down on, and which you should incorporate into your diet more.

 The Cause: Your Medicine

Welcome to one of the sneakiest and most problematic causes of acne: the medicine you take.

Much like foods and products, certain medicines happen to contain ingredients which increase the likelihood of acne breakouts. Again, the specific ingredients vary from person to person, but corticosteroids, testosterone, and lithium are all known acne offenders. The worst part is that the nature of most medicines means that they can be absorbed into your body faster and cause outbreaks much more quickly.

How to Treat It

Here's where we've got to share the bad news. The problem with medicine as a cause of acne is that there are certain medicines that you need to take and those medicines contain ingredients which will cause your acne to flare up.

What can be done about all of this? The answer to that question isn't always easy, but your first move should be to tell your doctor about your concerns and see if you can switch to another medicine that won't trigger your acne as severely. If that doesn't work, then you may need to rely on other treatment and prevention methods in order to mitigate the effects of your medicine as much as possible.

Now that you know the causes of acne, you'll be better equipped to get your face back to its clear and beautiful state!

Resources — Mayo Clinic, Healthline, Medical News Today

Share this article