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Why Do People Get Zits? Dermatologists Explain 4 Causes


Not many teens made it through high school without some pimples. Remember when you were a teenager you woke up with a swollen pimple right on your nose or on your forehead? It was probably at the worst time, like school picture day or prom.

Fast forward to the present and consider your skin like an adult. Are you still fighting the same breakouts you had as a teenager? You will be glad to know that you are not an anomaly. A study published by the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology states that adult acne affects at least 15 percent of men and 80 percent of women in the United States.

Acne is a common skin condition. It occurs when the hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. The results are inflamed or infected lesions called pimples or grain shape.

During puberty, hormonal fluctuations and excessive production of oil in the skin often cause the classic teenage acne. While most people have blemishes on their faces, you can also get pimples on your neck, back, and shoulders.

Are you predisposed to breakouts?

You can’t blame everything on your genetics. According to a study published by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the researchers discovered a possible link between genetics and acne. Of the groups of twins that were studied, 81 percent of their acne problems were genetic, while 19 percent were attributed to different environmental factors, according to the study.

Two types and subdivisions of acne

If you have breakouts in your teens, it’s called teenage acne. However, some people develop pimples well into adulthood, and when these breakouts occur in middle age, it is called adult acne. Statistics published by the Association of the American Academy of Dermatology reports that at least 50 million people in the United States are affected by acne each year.

• Non-inflammatory acne

Non-inflammatory acne is characterized by blemishes called comedones. These comedones can be open or closed, the article says. He knows them as whiteheads and blackheads.

• Open comedones: When small clogged hair follicles remain dilated, the obstruction takes on a dark color due to oxidation. These are called blackheads.

• Closed comedones: Whiteheads are called closed comedones because the debris from the hair follicle is sealed off. They usually have a light yellow tint.

• Inflammatory acne

In inflammatory acne, comedones become inflamed and infected, causing pus-filled lesions. They are the most prominent blemishes that are usually red and painful to the touch. These are usually the ones that surprise you at the worst possible times.

• Nodular acne: This is a subcategory of inflammatory acne that develops when infected lesions become larger and more painful.

• Cystic acne: Some people develop this more serious form of pimples. Large cysts can form deep within skin tissue that is filled with infectious fluid. They are unsightly and quite painful. If you develop nodule and cystic lesions, the condition is called nodulocystic acne.

It is not unusual for people to have a combination of inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne. You can develop whiteheads, blackheads, nodules and cysts in a simultaneous acne problem. If you don’t resist the temptation and hit or touch them, it can lead to permanent scarring.

Myths about your pimples

Remember when you were a teenager and your parents warned you to stay away from chocolate and fried foods? Many people still mistakenly believe that these treats can cause breakouts. While a large amount is not good for your body, there is no concrete evidence that chocolate or fried foods cause breakouts.

Another myth that can cause more harm than good is that acne comes from not cleaning the skin properly. Yes, experts recommend that people with oily skin and acne use non-greasy cleansers to gently cleanse excess oil. However, too much scrubbing and washing can cause skin irritation that results in blemishes.

Four reasons for acne breakouts and how to fix them

Do you have acne problems in adolescents or adults? It can be a source of frustration and embarrassment. Here are four of the top reasons you may be battling acne.

1. Hormone fluctuations

Although androgen is primarily a male hormone, women have small amounts as well. As boys go through puberty, androgens in both sexes cause the oil-producing glands in the skin to enlarge. When these sebaceous glands enlarge, they produce more oil on the skin, called sebum.

While your skin needs sebum to stay supple and hydrated, excess oil can mix with dead skin cells and clog pores. Some people have naturally oily skin and these clogged pores can cause pimples. Women whose hormones fluctuate during pregnancy or middle age are also prone to adult acne.

• How to fix it

There is not much you can do about hormonal changes at puberty, during pregnancy, or before menopause. Even if you have naturally oily skin, use skin products that are formulated for you. Keeping excess oil at bay can minimize acne breakouts.

Dermatologists explain stress acne and how to fix it.

2. Diet

You are what you eat and certain foods can affect your entire body, including your skin. According to an article published by the Association of the American Academy of Dermatology, certain foods can cause acne. These are foods that have a high glycemic index or those that cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly.

High-glycemic foods are also high in simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, sugar, white potatoes, and sugary junk food. The article states that when your blood sugar level rises, it can cause inflammation throughout your body. It can cause your skin to produce more sebum, which in turn can lead to more pimples, the article says.

Some people in the studies cited experienced more acne when they drank cow’s milk. The studies included both genders and suggested that at least 44 percent of the women surveyed consumed cow’s milk and were more prone to acne. The researchers found no evidence that dairy products like cheese or yogurt had the same effects.

However, the article says that the studies are only suggestive and not conclusive. However, it shows promise when some people eat less of these foods and have few breakouts. More studies are needed, according to the article.

• How to fix it

The same article suggests that a diet rich in low-glycemic foods can reduce the risks of acne breakouts. Some of these healthy foods include fresh vegetables, whole oats, and some fruits. Talk to your GP or a registered dietitian to find the diet that best suits your needs.

3. Makeup

Did you know that many makeups are done with oil? Even if your makeup is not oil-based, if you don’t wash your face properly, the makeup can fill your pores with dirt and debris, leaving you prone to infection.

• How to fix it

If you notice the appearance or worsening of acne symptoms, you should change your makeup brand. Many are not made with additional oils. Also, making sure to remove makeup from your face when you return home can minimize breakouts. Also, add a zinc supplement or essential oils can help.

4. Chronic stress

There will always be some stress in your life, but you can do things to reduce chronic stress. According to an article studied by the Association of the American Academy of DermatologyThere is a link between chronic stress and acne breakouts. The article explains that chronic stress increases the production of androgens, which increases the production of oil in the skin.

Excess oil can mix with dead skin cells, clog pores, and cause irritating pimples. The more you stress about your breakouts, the fitter they can continue. It is a vicious circle.

• How to fix it

Learning how to minimize stress in your life has many benefits. Not only is it better for your overall health, it can also help reduce acne breakouts. Consider meditating, reconnecting with nature, or practicing yoga to de-stress and relax.

Look at the labels

Now you realize that having acne breakouts does not mean that you are not a clean person. However, you must use the proper cleaning products and regimen to minimize breakouts. Be sure to read the labels on all of your skin and hair products and look for these words:

  • Non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores.
  • Non-acnegenic, which means it won’t cause breakouts.
  • Oil-free, it won’t add excess oil that can clog pores and form blemishes.
  • It doesn’t clog pores, which is an easier way of saying non-comedogenic.

• Hands off

Your hands also have oils and can transfer microscopic dirt and countless microbes to your face. Avoid touching or cleaning your face. Also, resist the urge to pop a pimple because it can cause infection and scarring.

Final thoughts on the causes of zits

Acne can be painful both physically and psychologically, whether you are a teenager or an adult. However, there are some steps you can take to avoid or minimize breakouts. If you develop painful cystic acne, consult a skin specialist for the best treatment options for you.

You don’t want to try to combat this without help, as can leave scars. Many people find that the best remedy for pimples is soap and water, which includes washing your face more often.


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