The purpose of this page is to take up and hopefully deal with directly, two main points:
1. What causes acne and…
the other sort of follows on from that
2. What can be done based on those causes.
Acne Warning! Please Read This!
There are two reasons why you, as an acne sufferer are wide open to getting ripped off by false promises of “instant cures,” “overnight treatments” and “one size fits all” solutions.
1. Acne is a problem that appears on the outside of your body so it comes with some particularly intense emotional baggage.
In this age of, “appearance is everything,” anyone with a condition like this knows it’s not necessarily the condition itself that is the most upsetting.
What is difficult to deal with are the feelings of self-consciousness, embarrassment and even lowered self-worth that accompany any problem that sets you apart from what is considered to be “normal.”
Marketers, advertisers, snake oil salesmen and a whole bunch of other types know that you are vulnerable and take advantage of that to get you to believe that their product, system or technique is the answer to your prayers.
2. We live in an age where we are conditioned by the media to expect to find answers to everything within a couple of quick “throw away” sentences.
These two points leave you wide open to all sorts of emotional manipulation in an effort to get you to buy, buy, buy!
Your ONLY defense against this is to be informed and know the subject you are dealing with well, so that you can intelligently evaluate the worth of any particular solution being offered to you.
Why am I saying this?… Because this page is long!
This is the longest page on this site because I want you to really understand what causes acne in the general sense and more importantly what causes it for you.
If you just take the time to get through it and understand it then you will be well armed to find a real solution to your problem.
Most of the myths about this condition tend to come from either someone just making it up on the fly or, well-intentioned people offering what appears to be good advice but is based on a misunderstanding of the real causes.
Here’s an example to give you an idea of how it happens:
The myth that it is caused by bacteria on your skin is assumed to be true because it sounds OK and seems to fit in with what you have observed, little infected pimples and inflammation right?
So you take this advice, use an antibacterial wash and hey presto!… you still have pimples!
To change the sentence above into some real and useful information it should really read like this:
One of the main contributors to an outbreak of acne is the presence of a specific type of bacteria on the surface of your body which is present on everyone’s body.
However, the person who is prone to outbreaks has other factors at work that result in a lowered ability to resist that bacteria.
They also generally have elevated levels of oil production in their pores which further encourages the bacteria to multiply within blocked pores.
A sensible cleansing routine using a dermatologist approved, anti-bacterial wash can assist in restricting outbreaks especially as part of a broader treatment routine which addresses all other aspects of what causes acne.
Do you see what I mean? The second explanation of causes is not really as snappy as the first one is it!
So rather than try to tackle the mountain of information, mis-information, incomplete information and well… flat out lies told for the purpose of selling something, here is what I think to be the full story.
The Main Causes of Acne
Let’s get one thing out of the way first. There is no single cause of acne and that’s why I keep repeating causes (plural) and not cause (singular).
If that is the only thing you get from this page then I am happy.
It means that every time you see some product or hear someone say, “The cause of acne is…” and they name a SINGLE cause.
You will KNOW it’s not true and what they are offering is probably worthless.
So here are the causes of acne:
- Genetic Factors
The key to understanding what really causes acne is that your outbreaks are the result of two, three or all four of the above points being in play at any given time. It is not because of one of them alone; they cannot be separated or dealt with individually… why?
Because they do not act or operate separately or individually, they act on each other and amongst each other as a group.
Let me explain further:
The final stages of an outbreak are that the endocrine system overproduces male hormones or insulin.
When either (or both) of those elements are present at levels which are not normal, the skin reacts by overproducing skin oil (sebum).
The pores cannot clear themselves quickly enough so that oily substance known as sebum begins to dry through contact with the air. This results in the pores becoming blocked with that dried sebum.
The bacteria which is naturally present on everyone’s skin is now enclosed in a sealed, warm, moist environment and reproduces at a faster rate.
The body detects this sudden increase in bacteria and tries to fight the infection by increasing blood flow to the spot so that it can carry extra white blood cells to the area. At the same time it is trying to raise the temperature of the location hoping also to kill off the bacteria.
The result of this little war going on is a pimple, multiply that by ten, twenty or more and you have acne.
“Why did those hormone levels go up unnaturally or why did the insulin levels go up?”
For the answer to this we have to look at the other elements of the four causes.
Stress is already known to play havoc with hormone levels so that’s quite straightforward but remember it also has a bad effect on digestion and the processing of food.
Diet could be the cause for any number of reasons. Too much sugar, too many stimulants (tea / coffee), too much processed food containing additives or even food containing hormones still in the food chain.
How about genetic factors? Ok. Your body may or may not process certain foods effectively on the basis of purely genetic factors.
You may have a reasonably well balanced diet yet you cannot deal with dairy products, normal levels of sugar, carbohydrates, proteins… in fact the entire range of the normal human diet!
That’s why some teenagers can eat almost anything and even at a time when their bodies are suffering from wildly fluctuating hormone levels, they never get a zit! Yet their poor friend only has to look at a piece of cheese and they breakout almost instantly!
One has a body that is happily burning through whatever is thrown at it and the other’s is totally overwhelmed!
You can take any one of those four ingredients above and relate it in some way to most or all of the others.
Hormones already out of balance cause poor digestion resulting in lowered resistance to infection.
Stress causes poor digestion or fluctuating hormones.
Genetically you are predisposed towards sensitivity to sugar resulting in hormonal fluctuations.
You see the list of combinations of how these elements can act as causes goes on and on and on.
No Quick Fix or Miracle Acne Cure
The only answer is to systematically go through each component until the combination causing your outbreaks can be isolated and dealt with.
There is only one product on the market today that I know of which actually does this and is basically the only product I recommend. It is called the Acne No More program.
The author of this program has fully researched this subject and has come up with a program that, if followed, will get you the results you want.