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A 21-year-old member asked:

What causes acne?

8 doctor answers17 doctors weighed in
Dr. Katherine Brown
Dermatology 17 years experience
See below: Acne results from oil overproduction (often due to hormones), clogged pores, p acnes bacteria, & resultant inflammation from your immune system recognizing infection. Effective acne treatments target these causes: benzoyl peroxide & antibiotics kill bacteria, retinoids decrease oil, salicyclic acid & retinoids unclog pores, oral contraceptives target hormones.
Dr. Otto Placik
Surgery - Plastics 35 years experience
Million $ question: Although much about the disease is known and the overactivity and dysfunction of the sebaceous glands comp, i cared by secondary bacterial colonization has been described and treated the exact cause is not definitively known.
Dr. Emily Altman
Dermatology 29 years experience
Causes of acne: Acne has a number of different causes: 1. Genetics-if acne is common in your family, you have a higher chance of having it 2. Hormones, primarily androgens, cause oil glands to grow & produce more sebum. Women with hormone imbalance often have cystic acne. Oil and bacteria in hair follicles cause inflammation. 3. Diet-high glycemic index foods and dairy are linked to acne 4. Medications.
Dr. Andrew Malinchak
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Acne cause: It is caused by the bacterium, p. Acnes. It eats the oils of your sebaceous (oil) glands and creates, as a byproduct, acne. It is treatable with either otc or rx meds. By the way, eating chocolate does not cause acne.
Dr. Keira Barr
Pathology 23 years experience
Various causes: Acne is based in hair follicles. Secretion of oil glands, dead skin cells and a bacteria( proprionobacterium acnes) within a hair follicle trigger a cascade of signals in your body that leads to inflammation: ie. The red bumps and pus bumps of acne. Hormone levels and stress can contribute to acne and possibly dairy, but greasy foods and chocolate have not been proven to make acne worse.
Dr. Ben Treen
40 years experience
Hormones, diet?: Androgens ("male hormones" such as testosterone) are clearly implicated in causing acne. There is good circumstantial evidence that high glycemic index diet plays a role, too. Hunter/gatherer people rarely have problems with acne until adopting high glycemic index "western" diets. Hormones in dairy may be another source.
Dr. Anifat Balogun
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 30 years experience
Acne cause(s): The three major factors that contribute to acne formation include irregular shedding of surface skin cells that clog and inflame pores, overproduction of sebum that mixes with dead skin cells to form a soft plug in hair follicles/pores and bacterial build up. Androgens, pregnancy-related hormonal changes, some medications can worsen acne. Certain foods have been implicated in aggravating acne.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
Hormones: Despite pop claims, cleanliness, diet, and fitness have little real impact. Around puberty, hormones thicken the outermost layer of the skin, enlarge the sebaceous glands, and invite the acne bacteria to live and cause trouble there. All acne can be controlled nowadays; one possibility for an 18 year old lady is the oral contraceptive pill if you can take and want it.

Similar questions

A 48-year-old member asked:

What could cause my acne?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
Your changing body: I hope you welcome the changes that turn you from a child into an adult. The chemical chaos often produces an environment in which the oils and bacteria that cause acne flourish. Thankfully, all acne is manageable today, and it's wrong for anyone to deny you the cheap, effective treatments that are available.
A 38-year-old female asked:

Can weaning cause acne?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Marsha Davis
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Depends: It's not really the weaning but the hormonal changes that start after birth that can cause acne at any time.
A 40-year-old member asked:

Can ketoconazole cause acne?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
No: In fact it is a mild anti-androgen and is even used as an adjunct treatment. I'd look for another cause for your flare-up.
A 31-year-old member asked:

Does humidity cause acne?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Bryan McIntosh
Plastic Surgery 20 years experience
Humidity and Acne: Humidity itself shouldn't cause acne. However, humidity couple with sweating and soiling of your skin more than usual certainly could worsen acne if you are already acne-prone. Cleansing with an appropriate agent that will avoid over-cleansing and stripping your skin of the correct amount of oils is important to do twice daily.
A 34-year-old member asked:

Does chilli cause acne?

1 doctor answer5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 45 years experience
No: The most likely dietary link is dairy, and even this isn't especially powerful. All acne is manageable. If topical benzoyl peroxide hasn't cleared you in two weeks, get with your physician.

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Last updated Oct 11, 2020

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