22 Different Causes of Acne Breakouts

Causes of AcneAs we go through life, we have stages of development. First, we crawl, walk, and run. Our bodies also go through changes as well. One of the most disturbing is puberty when our bodies are changing to an adult. Along with this Acne rears its head and for some people it becomes a life-changing event as it can leave scars in its wake.

However, puberty isn’t the only thing that can cause Acne. Today we will look at the other causes of Acne that can occur even after you’ve become an adult. In fact, we will learn about at least 22 other things that can be responsible for your Acne problems not including the common ones.

When you’ve finished reading, you’ll have a better understanding about Acne and perhaps even discover the causes of acne problems or that of someone you know or love.

1. Common Causes of Acne

Let’s first look at the common causes of Acne that can affect a woman.

  • Rosacea
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • PMS
  • Excessive or Unwanted Hair on a woman

Any of the above conditions can cause adult-onset Acne and you should seek the advice of your doctor or dermatologist. But, let’s now see what other things can cause Acne.


2. Baby Acne Causes

This is a tough one and even the renowned Mayo Clinic throws up their hands when they are queried on this one. It can occur at birth or within a few weeks. The consensus of many doctors is that it is hormone related either from the mother just before birth or as the child undergoes rapid changes just after. Certain medications have also been anecdotally linked to Acne. However, the jury is still out on these as well.

Baby Acne Causess

The good news is that it clears up in a few weeks. If however it persists beyond 3 months, it might be time to take you baby in to see a doctor who may prescribe a topical ointment to relief the irritation until the condition clears up.

3. What Causes Teenage Acne?

When you’re a teen, your body is undergoing many changes and this is when Acne usually strikes. A male’s hormones such as androgen are at their strongest. Emotions can give rise to excess blood flow to the face as this is believed by some specialists as the trigger for Acne.

But of course telling yourself to calm down is like trying to stop a runaway train with your bare hands.

A different tack might be the solution would be to change your focus to taking up a sport that requires self-discipline. There are many with the martial arts and gymnastics requiring a get deal of focus and precision and control. Tae Kwon Do, Kendo, and Aikido are all noted for their ability to focus one’s energies. Yoga and Tai Chi are even better, but most male teens would prefer activities that are more masculine.

As for girls, keeping their androgens/hormones under control is a bit easier, however, just before their period is a time when Acne could occur. Seeing your dermatologist is your best course of action.

4. What Causes Adult Acne?

Your Face cream(s) – If you are a woman who tries out new face creams throughout the year, you may be inadvertently giving yourself Acne. Shaving – or the tweezing of hair can irritate the skin and give the bacteria that cause Acne a chance to take root.

Hair care products – Hair tonics and creams for men are famous for doing this. In the late 50s going into now hair care for men and “Kookie lend me your comb” from 77 Sunset Strip had teens slicking back their hair to look “Ginchy.” Later the movie Grease and “The Fonz” from “Happy Days” brought it to the forefront and it still continues with current products for men, such as AXE, Suave, and even Brylcream, which is still on the market. Can trigger Acne

Your face cleanser – Your face cream can trigger Acne and so can the cleanser you use to remove it.

Stress – This is one of the #1 causes of adult Acne as it releases hormones and other chemicals into the blood that can cause Acne to flare up.

Vacation and travel – Believe it or now you vacation or long commutes can cause your face to take on a bumpy appearance, which may be the precursor to an Acne flare up.

An environment that causes you to have dry skin – If you work in an office with a lot of indoor pollution or out where the sun can dry out your skin is another way Acne can trigger and mark your face with spots.

5. How Does Depression Cause Acne?

Cortisol is released in cases of anxiety, stress, and depressions so all three can cause you face to break out on occasion.

6. Acne Causes Around Mouth

acne causes around mouth

This variation of Acne is a minor one and is along the line of whiteheads and blackheads. Oil build up blocks the pores and they become inflamed. Around this time, bacteria then enter the picture and you have an outbreak of Acne. You can help prevent this by cleaning the area around your mouth more frequently and there are OTC medications that help remove the oil and clean out your pores.

7. Can Food Cause Acne?

If you are a fan of the Big Mac or the Whopper, you may be contributing to you Acne. Studies are now showing that fast food has a connection with Acne and that myth about burgers and zits may not be a myth at all. Though your dermatologist may dispute the information, it is becoming glaringly obvious that a refined carb diet is having detrimental effects across the board for Americans. Zits and Acne are on the rise along with obesity and Type II diabetes, which are all pointing the American diet.

The documentary “Bad Sugar” goes into graphic detail about how change in diets seems to have created an epidemic among the Indian tribes along the Gila River and another documentary on Epigenetics you can turn on a gene via a change in diet makes for a disturbing scenario for the future of the United States.

8. What Kinds of Bacteria Cause Acne?

Propionibacterium acnes is the culprit for the most part and your body normally can keep it and the many other species of bacteria in your skin under control. However, if something upsets the applecart and lets the bacteria get the upper hand you have an Acne problem. Your skin is designed to protect against bacteria but it finds a home in the pores and hair follicles and if it gets a chance, it will cause you problems.

9. Acne Causes Hormonal Imbalance

Actually, it’s the other way around. Acne can be a sign that your hormones are out of balance instead.

Also check: Natural Solutions for Hormonal Imbalance

10. Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Acne?

drinking alcohol cause acne

Indirectly alcohol can affect many systems in the body. High stress people tend to drink which depresses the immune system. This then opens the door to opportunistic bacteria to multiply and cause your face to break out. Drinking can also affect your hormone levels, which again could result in an outbreak of Acne.

11. Does Dairy Cause Acne?

Milk today has hormones in it. So guess what? Yep, your milk could be the trigger to your outbreak of Acne. 59 different hormones are in milk. Not to mention a whole host of other irritants, animal fat, and pus. This makes milk a lot unhealthier that you ever thought for Acne and other problems as well. If you want to clear up you face then the milk should be off the menu at your house.

12. Acne Caused by Sun Exposure

Exposure to the sun irritates the skin. This opens the door for bacteria to get a foothold, so may be an indirect triggering event.

13. Does Shaving Cause Acne

Yes, as it irritates the skin and forces the bacteria deeper in the hair follicles and again you have all the conditions for an Acne flare up.

14. What Are the Causes of Chest Acne?

chest acne causes

The skin on the chest is thicker and the pores larger and during the summer sweat and oil combine to make it possible for the Acne bacteria to multiply rapidly, especially if the pores in your skin become clogged with oil and dirt. This is like ringing the dinner bell for bacteria to come and feast at your expense.

15. Smoking Causes Acne Cheeks

You will notice that many people who smoke also have Acne. However, there are no studies that show this yet. However, smoking does disrupt hormone levels and depresses the immune system. This then would be a trigger for Acne.

So, you’ll have to take your chances with this one as with milk drinking as well.

16. Acne Medication Causes Death

You do need to be cautious and do your homework when looking for or using medications for Acne. At least one drug “Accutane has been reported to be dangerous to take not only for a woman but if pregnant to the unborn child as well. It also has a host of other side effects as well. One of which is suicide. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

17. Is Your Makeup Causing Acne?

makeup causing acneIf your face creams can cause Acne and the cleansers for your face cause Acne. What do you think makeup will do?

You got it! In fact, a study in Brazil showed 45% of the women who took part in a study on makeup had skin problems. 14% of the women were diagnosed with Acne, which even has its own designation of “Acne Cosmetica.”

Blocking your pores is giving the bacteria that causes Acne wonderful hiding place to run amuck. The scary thing about this form of Acne is that it can last for years as women apply makeup to cover the imperfections that the Acne is causing and creating a vicious cycle of irritation, Acne infection, and hiding the problems caused by the makeup in the first place.

You may also like: Remove your entire makeup using just water! 

18. Does Sweating Cause Acne on My Body and Face?

The Bacteria that cause Acne lives on the byproducts of your sweat and the more you sweat the happier it gets. So, you see why taking a shower after a workout is essential to remove the excess sweat but not overdoing it and removing your skin’s natural defense against Acne.

So you see you could be walking a fine line of this one between one and the other event triggering an Acne outbreak.

19. Will Lack of Sleep Cause Acne?

The Japanese say no. However, Acne experts on this side of the Pacific Rim you should get 7 – 8 hrs sleep or you system will be thrown out of balance, which is a trigger for Acne. So, your best bet is to get plenty of rest to be on the safe side.

20. Does Too Much Sleep Cause Acne?

A case could be made that if you sleep too much on your back and sweat you could get a case of “Back Acne.” However, too much sleep itself isn’t the culprit. In addition, people who suffer depression tend to sleep more and the upset of their hormone levels could trigger Acne. But too much sleep is just one of the indicators that something may be wrong.

21. Does Masturbation Cause Acne?

Not directly. Enjoying your body isn’t going to give you acne. But hormone levels can affect it though. If you’re affecting your hormone levels through masturbation, I could see it being possible. Also over excessive sex or masturbation causes stress and excessive DHT that trigger acne outbreak.

22. What Medicine Can Cause Acne?

Along with all of the above, your meds could be responsible for an outbreak of Acne. Steroid use is one possible trigger as is barbiturate use. Lithium and Corticosteroids are also implicated, as they affect Cortisol levels.

what medicine can cause acneFinally, DHE may be a factor in you Acne problems.

Parting words on the cause of Acne

Acne is a non-fatal disease so using some of the powerful drugs that are available isn’t warranted and the side effects may outweigh their usefulness. Along with this fact, you’ve been made aware of at least 22 other different ways that Acne may be triggered and some you probably weren’t expecting.

What we have gleaned is that hormones, bacteria, oil, and sweat seem to be the key ingredients to the disease and by working on regulating them may hold the key to solving the problem once and for all. Until such time as doctors come up with a definitive answer, we’ll have to get along with that and work from there.

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