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10 Most Common Causes of Acne

Jaclyn Hughes

As the timeless adage goes, “you should never judge a book by its cover,” but sadly, this isn’t always the case, especially for teenagers.

Now that I have gotten being vague out of the way, I would like to talk about the largest organ of your body, your skin, or for argument’s sake, the cover of the book that is you.

Your skin really is much like the cover of a book. It is the first thing people notice about you, and inside of it, holds many wonders and mysteries. However, much like how all book covers don’t look the alike, the same can be said for a person’s skin, as there are many factors, most of which are outside of our control, that can impact the way it looks.

While certainly there are many conditions that can affect a person’s skin, from liver problems to autoimmune diseases, and from a sun tan to a sunburn; the influencer on our epidermis that I wish to cover today is much more common than any of those, and one that is a reality for millions of people, teenagers and adults alike – acne.

Before we delve into what acne is and its causes, let us for take a look at how the skin works.

Our skin contains millions of small sebaceous glands underneath the surface. These glands excrete an oil, called sebum, that helps to keep our skin smooth and supple. This oil is released via pores, which are small holes on the surface of the skin, which is also where hairs grow out of. When the body produces a lot of sebum, the skin can feel oily and these pores can become clog. It is when these pores become clogged that germs and bacteria can thrive and grow. The result – pimples.

Acne is a very broad term, and under it you will find most of the facial blemishes that we have all come to hate. Whiteheads, blackheads, papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts are all types of acne pimples of varying severity.

Acne is most common in adolescents as it is a time of significant hormonal change which can cause an increase in the bodies producing of sebum; however it can affect people of all ages. How many people exactly? Well, according to studies, approximately 17 million Americans are suffering from the disease known as acne at any given time.

Most people are familiar with acne, either experiencing it themselves in varying severities or by witnessing another person who has it. Few things can make the already difficult teenage years even worse for a person then acne can.

And for adults, well, there is still a stigma around this disease that it should only affect the young, or that an adult who suffers from it must be “dirty.”

Even though acne is not a harmful or dangerous condition, it can cause scaring as well as potentially have a deep psychological impact on the sufferer.

While acne is a much more visible condition than most, it is important to remember that it is like most diseases, in which early detection can help to mitigate its impact. Bearing that in mind, we have taken the time to put together 10 of the most common causes for acne, so that you can be better informed and potentially avoid some (and only some) of its root causes.

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