What Causes Acne and What Puts You at Risk for It?
Acne is among the most prevalent skin conditions in the world, with roughly 50 million cases in the United States alone. Although this disorder is most likely to impact teens, it can also affect adults—and it’s more likely to manifest in women.
We discuss what acne is, telltale symptoms, and typical causes. Lastly, you’ll find out which behaviors and conditions can increase your likelihood of suffering from it.
What Is Acne, and Do You Have It?
Acne vulgaris is the result of abnormal activity in your skin’s sebaceous hair follicles (or pores), resulting in skin eruptions. Symptoms include:
- Papules (raised bumps).
- Pustules (pimples with pus).
- Nodules (hard, painful lumps under the skin).
- Cystic lesions. (pus-filled lumps under the skin).
The condition is more likely to last for longer than a standard pimple or zit. It also takes longer to develop, and doesn’t usually get better without intervention.
Severity can differ dramatically from person to person. Blackheads and whiteheads are generally classed as mild, whereas painful nodules and cysts are inflammatory.
These lesions typically occur in areas with a higher concentration of oil-producing glands. That means your face, neck, back, shoulders, and chest are more likely to be acne-prone than elsewhere on your body.
Common Causes of Acne
Acne causes can be more complicated than superficial skin troubles. These are the typical culprits behind the condition:
1. Excess Sebum Production
Sebum is a type of natural oil produced by your sebaceous glands. Normally, sebum maintains skin health by acting as a barrier to retain moisture, among other functions.
If these glands are working overtime, sebum can turn harmful. Too much oil can block up your pores, prompting trademark lesions to form.
2. Clogged Pores
Sebum isn’t the only substance that can block up your pores and result in a breakout. Other perpetrators include dead skin cells, comedogenic cosmetics, and debris.
For that reason, it’s essential to keep the surface of your skin clean. One study found individuals who wash their face once a day rather than twice daily had worse symptoms.
3. Bacterial Infection
Our skin plays hosts to thousands of living organisms, bacteria included. However, under the wrong conditions, certain species can instigate a breakout.
Unfortunately, the ideal circumstances for such bacteria to colonize and inflame is oily skin and clogged hair follicles (pores).
4. Hormonal Imbalances
High androgen levels are the usual suspect. Androgen, the male hormone, is needed for normal female development. However, if there’s too much of it in your system, it can have unwanted consequences, breakout-prone skin included.
Human-growth hormone and insulin are two other hormones that can influence your skin.
Additionally, women are more susceptible to flares (breakouts) right before their menstrual cycle begins.
Risk Factors of Acne
Acne risks can span from legitimate medical problems to poor lifestyle habits. We investigate the factors that can increase your chances of developing or worsening it:
1. Hormonal Disorders
This skin ailment is a characteristic symptom of specific hormonal diseases—usually those that cause high levels of androgens, insulin, and a few others.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one such example. Others include Apert syndrome, Cushing syndrome, and hypothyroidism.
If you notice that your skin troubles began at the same time as other issues—e.g., body hair, fatigue, or other complaints—make an appointment with your doctor.
As we mentioned earlier, teenagers are more vulnerable to being affected. Almost 95 percent of young adults will experience it as they pass through puberty.
Higher testosterone levels in both girls and boys can stimulate acne, which can persist until age 20 or longer.
Some drugs can have side effects that include skin disruptions, which is known as drug-induced acne. If your lesions have appeared all of a sudden, you might want to investigate any new medications you were prescribed.
Medicines that increase your acne risk include:
- Vitamin B12.
- Thyroid hormones.
- Anti-seizure drugs.
- Halogen compounds (e.g., iodine, bromide, etc.).
Foods with a higher glycemic load could be responsible for aggravating your skin. These consist of sugary or high-carb items that spike your blood sugar. Research has also revealed a connection between dairy and acne.
Bear in mind there’s little research to support various fried or oily foods worsening breakouts.
Both chronic and acute stress is linked to a wide range of health issues. Numerous skin conditions can be exacerbated by raised stress levels, and acne is no exception.
6. Oily Substances
Greasy food being the major cause of acne may be a myth, but oily substances should be avoided. For instance, if you work in a kitchen and grease from fryers collect on your face.
Certain cosmetics can also fall into this category. Heavy creams, moisturizers, and similar products could contribute to clogged pores—which can lead to blemishes.
One study of 140 girls confirmed the association between cosmetics use and worsening acne. Remember to choose appropriate products that are not oily or heavy (e.g., non-comedogenic or dermatologist-approved).
There is a relationship between acne and genetics. If your family members have a history of the condition or still suffer from it, you’re more likely to contract it too.
Acne lesions are best left untouched as they heal, no matter where they’re located.
Friction from everyday activities, clothing, and accessories can inflame pustules, nodules, and cysts. For example, hats rubbing on oily foreheads, or backpack straps rubbing against pustules on your back.
Know Your Skin
Understanding why acne occurs can help you address potential issues that you may not have been aware of.
Quality over-the-counter products can make a difference, but you shouldn’t rely on them alone to eliminate acne.
If you suspect you have a hormonal complaint or a medicine you’re taking is the source of your skin woes, check in with your doctor. You can consult with a dermatologist if your acne is severe and self-care and non-prescription treatments don’t seem to be working.
Derm's sug: Lobster No More, How to Heal Your Sunburn
Sunburned skin comes from too much exposure to damaging ultraviolet light (UV) from the sun. Sunburns will cause Your skin to turn red and swell and sometimes blisters will form. Your skin will be sore, burning or painful to touch. As the sunburn fades, your skin will peel and become itchy. The skin contains melanin, a pigment which helps absorb and protect us from UV light. It is what causes us to become tan. However, when you get too much UV light and melanin is overloaded, you get a sunburn. The fairer your skin, the less melanin you have, and the less time it takes to get a sunburn. There is no proven way to reverse the damage the sunburn has done to your skin and DNA. Continuous damage to your DNA from the sun will cause skin cancers to form, many of which are deadly. Here are some ways you can help ease the symptoms of the sunburn. 1. Cool compresses or short cool showers can help. Pat dry, do not rub. 2. Use a good hypo-allergenic moisturizer several times a day to keep the skin hydrated. I like Cetaphil Cream. 3. Avoid ointment based products with petrolatum, like Vaseline Petroleum Jelly or Aquaphor Ointment, since they can trap the heat in your skin. 4. Hydrocortisone cream 1% can be applied for a few days to help with redness and itching. Avoid long term use as it can thin your skin. 5. Aloe vera and menthol products are very soothing as well. 6. It is also important to stay well hydrated and drink plenty of water. 7. NSAIDS, like ibuprofen, can help relieve discomfort when taken as directed. 8. Avoid more sun exposure. 9. See a doctor if you have symptoms of fever, chills, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, confusion or dehydration. Here are some tips to avoid getting sunburned: 1. Avoid peak hours of the day 10am-4pm. 2. Seek shade. 3. Use broad spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection SPF 50+. Apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every hour you are outside. One ounce will cover your entire body (that is the size of a shot glass). I love La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Melt In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60. 4. Wear protective clothing with UPF 50+. I love Coolibar and Solumbra products. 5. Use a wide brim hat the help protect your face. 6. Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection will help protect your eyes. Sun exposure can cause cataracts. 7. Chapstick with broad spectrum sunscreen SPF 50+ will protect your lips. Make sure you reapply every hour. 8. Stay protected even on cloudy, rainy and cold days.
✨ powder + spray for the perfect base
I love my BB cream, but wearing it alone can start to look oily through the day. Plus, under eye foundation can start to crepe. Here’s the products I use to supplement it for a flawless base~ with a focus on my favorite powder & spray! 🌟 BASE 🌟 I’ve used the PHYSICIANS FORMULA - Super BB All-In-1 Beauty Balm Cream SPF 30for over a year. It’s a great BB that evens your skin tone, and looks natural. It’s also non-comedogenic, and has moisturizers like Shea butter. Only problem is it can look oily if I spend the day with no powder. 🌟 CONCEALER 🌟 I use the Too Faced - Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealerwhich was sadly discontinued. :( But it’s not matte, nor too heavy for the under eyes. I’ve used the L'ORÉAL - True Match Super Blendable Concealer& bareMinerals - BARESKIN Complete Coverage Serum Concealer, which were both comparable. ⭐️ POWDER ⭐️ In LOVE with the Beauty Bakerie - Flour Setting Powder in Oat (Translucent). It comes in the CUTEST bakery bag packaging when you get it, and it’s a loose powder. It has never felt too cakey, heavy, or overly mattifying. It has a blurring effect on my face. In the 2nd photo, it also seemed to brighten up my skin. My skin is sensitive, but it’s never irritated it- its gentle enough to even set under eye concealer. Beauty Bakerie powders have a large shade range, so deep & olive toned peeps don’t have to worry about a white cast. I’ve bought it 2x with my own money by now. It’s vegan, silicone + paraben-free, and flashback free. After trying other powders, I think this is my holy grail. ⭐️ SPRAY ⭐️ Let’s say you DO actually put too much powder on. A setting spray that makes you glow can help. I really enjoy the COLOURPOP - Pretty Fresh Hydrating Setting Spray It’s affordable at $12, and comes with hyaluronic acid and 🥥 coconut water to moisturize your skin. It smells like fresh coconut with every spritz. With this spray over the powder, my skin looked glowing- but not overly oily. It also helps my eyeshadow melt into my skin, and just... brings the whole look together. Colourpop’s forte has always been eyeshadow imo, but I feel like they’re killing it in the base department now, too. I’ve used a lot of other base products before. I tried the Maybelline concealer, the L’Oreal True Match Foundation, the Urban Decay Naked skin powder and TonyMoly setting sprays. Some were too matte or broke me out, or just did nothing. I will def think of repurchasing these products when I run out (unless I want to try something new !) ✨ TLDR ✨ Use these products for natural looking, glowy (not oily) skin. Suitable for sensitive skin, and the powder has a large shade range.
Cuticle oil and energizers for Fall and Winter �
I am not a huge nails person, but I like to take care of natural nails just to keep them healthy and tidy. These are some of my nails picks for today's post. Two of them are good for everyone, especially for someone who uses dash nails or gets their nails done. These will make sure your nails and cuticles are soft, nourished. Also these make your nails strong which helps in growing them long. For coming drop in temperature, I experience tremendous dryness and dehydration of my nails and hands. These are perfect to keep them nourished, moisturized and protected. I experienced my nails don't break that often anymore with these. The first one is this beautiful Cuticle revitalizing oil by @cuccionaturals. cuccio - Naturalé Milk & Honey Cuticle Revitalizing Oil It's really amazing. It's a lightweight oil that softens cuticles, makes your nails look clean and it dissipates easily without leaving any greasiness behind. It has honey which softens and hydrates cuticles before manicure while Lactic acid gently exfoliates. This also helps in making nails grow. I truly enjoy this. The scent is a bit overwhelming but I don't mind it because it's on my nails. The best part about it is it's packaging. It looks so cute with it's large bubble shape and the amount we get is huge. It will last me forever and it's only 6.19$ on Amazon. 😍 Another one is this interesting bottle I got few months back. It's @prettywoman Nailmedic Revitalizer - Nails and cuticle energizer.PRETTY WOMAN - NailMedic Rejuvenator Nail & Cuticle Energizer It is a blend of water base and alcohol which has a distinct color and because they don't mix together the bottle looks duo-tone. I found that so pretty and it smells like a good spa. It's not oil so doesn't feel greasy and dries out in a second. It nourishes cuticles and nails while making them easy to clean and repair in manicure. The rest of the products are some if favourite nail polishes. Let me know what are your favorite nail products!! ❤️ ella+mila - 3-Pack Stuck in London Set .INC. - Sending Nudes Nail Polish Collection lauren b. BEAUTY - Edie Parker X lauren B. Bright Lights Nail Polish
Are You Guilty of This Spot Treatment Mistake?
Let’s talk about spot treatments. 🎯 I see so many people misusing these creams, especially among those with active acne. ⠀ ⠀ When you have 6-8 pimples at a time, it can be challenging to use spot treatments. Most of the time, people use them all over. When you do this, it can be overly drying and cause more breakouts. 😩⠀ It can be easy to fall for this mistake. But, it’s important that you use these as SPOT treatments to truly help your breakouts instead of making things worse. ⠀ I’ve been using this spot treatment THE PLANT BASE - AC Clear Magic Gel 🍃 It has 7.5% Centella Asiatica that’s hydrating while also effective for treating wounds like pimples. (I’ll share my full review soon) ⠀ Centella Asiatica is rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids, and phytochemicals. It boasts antioxidant activity at the site of wounds, strengthening the skin and increasing blood circulation.⠀ ⠀ It also contains another familiar ingredient, panthenol, to calm the skin down from irritation. Instead of drying pimples, it works by slowly bringing down inflammation without drying the area around it. ⠀
How To Get a Salon-Quality Mani At-Home
One of my favorite ways to ~treat myself~ was by getting manicures regularly pre-pandemic, but now I’ve had to find new ways to keep my nails looking cute. Since I’m not the sturdiest when applying nail polish, press-on nails I’ve been a godsend and recently, I got to try Popsocket’s new phoni-mani, which are press-on nails that are designed to match their Popsockets. I always gravitate towards pinks, burgundys, and purples when I get my nails done, so the ones that caught my eyes were the pink sparkly ones that came with an equally pink sparkly Popsocket. The phoni-mani nails are ready-to-wear and have a thin gel adhesive on the backs, which eliminates the need for nail glue, and each pack comes 30 nails in varying sizes. Like most press-on nails, they need to be filed and cut down but thankfully the kit comes with prep pads, a mani stick, and a mini file to help get the nails to their desired shape. I was excited not to have to use nail glue but quickly found that the gel adhesive wasn’t as strong as I needed it to be. No matter how hard I pressed or how well I prepped the nails, it still felt like they weren’t securely on and that they could fall off at any moment. I was able to get through about 3 days before one fell off. While the adhesive didn’t keep them glued on, they did make for easy removal and my nails weren’t damaged after I took them off. All in all, I wouldn’t recommend these press-ons. They were nice to freshen up my mani, but did not deliver the results I wanted. Here are some tips I have for making the most out of your press-on nails: - Cut your natural nail down as close as you can to the fingertip to keep it from interfering with the press-on nail, especially if you have to cut it and reshape it. - Plan out which nails you will use for each finger before you start gluing to make the process easier. - If you’re using press-ons that require glue, I’ve always found that applying a dot of glue on the back of the nail and also on your nail is a great way to sufficiently glue down the press-on. If you add too much, you can always go back in with a Q-tip to remove the excess glue from under the fake nail. #Popsocket - Popsocket Nails[products]#[ThreeStars]
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