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What Causes Acne And Can It Be Prevented?

Acne is one of the most debilitating skin concerns in terms of the impact it can have on your confidence, your mental wellbeing and your day-to-day life. It’s an inflammatory skin condition that is most commonly associated with puberty, but your symptoms can follow you into your adult life. More than one third of adults in the UK have suffered with acne at some point in their lives, with 11.5% currently dealing with it. In order to take back control of your skin, you must first understand what causes acne.


What Causes Acne?


To put it very simply, acne occurs as a result of blocked hair follicles. We all have sebaceous glands, which are responsible for preventing the hair and the skin from drying out by producing an oily substance known as sebum. When too much sebum is produced and it mixes with dead skin cells and other debris, your follicles can become blocked and trigger the onset of various types of acne, such as whiteheads and blackheads. If bacteria comes into contact with these blocked follicles, they can become infected and lead to more serious types of acne, like pustules and cysts.

Your sebaceous glands are very sensitive to hormones, which is why acne is so common among teenagers. An increase in testosterone levels throughout puberty – the hormone responsible for growth and development in boys and muscle and bone strength in girls – triggers the overproduction of sebum and the onset of acne. While symptoms usually improve over time, adult acne is a possibility, especially in women. Again, this is thought to come down to fluctuating hormone levels as a result of the menstrual cycle, as well as throughout pregnancy, and for those that suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). 

There are a number of other known triggers, but each instance is different from the last and determining what causes acne to flare up can be a long process. These triggers include certain medications, smoking, some cosmetic products, and genetics. The chances are that you will suffer with acne if one or both of your parents did. While acne can’t typically be avoided, there are certainly steps you can take to minimise flare-ups.


Prevention & Treatment


As a rule, it pays to keep your face clean. With that said, some people tend to overdo it in a desperate attempt to combat acne. However, you should not wash your face more than twice a day. You should use a gentle, alcohol-free cleanser and avoid harsh, physical exfoliants that can irritate your skin. Those with dry skin should apply a daily moisturiser that is non-comedogenic and oil-free to avoid breakouts and clogged pores. In fact, we suggest you opt for this type of product throughout your skincare and beauty regimen to ensure that you remain spot-free. You may find that once you change your skincare routine, you’ll be able to stop worrying about what causes acne, which will allow you to work on restoring your confidence.

While it’s definitely tempting, the best thing you can do when you notice a pimple is to leave it alone. Don’t squeeze or pop it as this could lead to the spread of bacteria and further complications, like infection and scarring. By attempting this, you’re essentially making a bad situation much worse for yourself. Instead, put your faith in expert help from our trained and experienced skin specialists at the Christopher Maerevoet Clinic. We can help you to determine your triggers and navigate the skincare market to find a solution that actually works for you. Most over-the-counter products don’t offer the results you’re looking for, but our team can recommend prescription-strength products as well as a number of highly effective treatment options.


Schedule Your Consultation


Your journey to a clearer complexion that you can have confidence in starts with a consultation at the Christopher Maerevoet Clinic. With our help, you can finally understand what causes acne and determine a way to minimise your symptoms through a highly bespoke treatment plan. Our experts customise your skincare in order to achieve the best possible results.

To get in touch, call 01704 545 113 or email

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