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10 main causes for acne and how to treat it

Acne is a disease that causes blocks to the fat glands of the skin, which can cause inflammations and rashes, forming pimples. So pimples are caused by a combination of several factors, which involve excess oil production by the skin, accumulation of bacteria, tendency to inflammation, hormonal deregulation and tendency to accumulate dead cells and tissues.

Therefore, to prevent the appearance of pimples, it is important to keep the skin clean, use products that remove the excess oiliness and dead cells, as well as having a healthy diet, which decreases skin inflammation, based on whole grains and rich foods in omega-3s, such as salmon and sardines.

Such changes to the skin that cause acne in several places, such as face, back and arms, are triggered by situations such as:

10 main causes for acne and how to treat it

1. Age

During adolescence, especially between the ages of 12 and 18 years, it is more common to have pimples, because in this period there is an increase in the production of androgenic hormones by the body, such as testosterone, that stimulate the production of oiliness.

However, pimples can appear at any age, it is not uncommon in women after the age of 30, called late acne, which can be caused by changes in the amount of sebum or keratin produced in the skin or by an increased accumulation of bacteria, for example.

  • How to treat: It is necessary to see a dermatologist for evaluation of your skin type and prescription of medicines like lotions or creams that can improve your skin health and to diminish the production of pimples.

2. Not cleaning the skin properly 

If your skin is not well hygienised it may lead to the accumulation of oiliness, which clogs the pores and facilitates the formation of blackheads and the development of pimples.

  • How to treat: The face should be washed at least 2 times a day, when waking up and especially  before going to sleep at night, to remove excess dirt on the skin that accumulates throughout the day. If you have very oily skin you can wash it up to 3 to 4 times a day. You should choose preferably, specific skin type products that should be guided after evaluation by the dermatologist.

3. Not removing makeup

Makeup should be removed as soon as possible, as the buildup on the skin can also cause clogging of the pores, which facilitates the formation of blackheads and pimples, especially low quality products that are produced from oils.

  • How to treat: For those who have a tendency for acne it is recommended you use specific makeup for oily skin, so the products should be water-based, however ideally you should try to leave the skin as natural as possible, and always remove all makeup with makeup remover when arriving at home.

4. Using very greasy skin products

If you use products that are not adjusted to your skin type you can increase the chances of blackheads and pimples forming, such examples are the use of sunscreen or very oily or greasy moisturizing cream.

  • How to treat: You should always try to choose products specific to your skin type, which are called "non-comedogenic" because they can decrease the tendency of your skin pores getting obstructed.
10 main causes for acne and how to treat it

5. Foods that can cause pimples

If you consume foods that have a tendency to cause skin inflammation like milk, sweets, carbohydrates and fried foods you may increase your chances of developing acne, because they alter hormone production and stimulate skin inflammation and the appearance of blackheads and pimples.

  • How to treat: Avoid eating foods rich in carbohydrates, fats and prefer to focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, omega-3s and water as they have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory proprieties.

6. Having a hormonal disease

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a disease that increases the production of androgens, which are male hormones that act by increasing the production of oil by the skin and making it more likely to appear pimples.

  • How to treat: The treatment for this syndrome can be done with the use of contraceptives or others capable of regulating the hormones.

7. Reaction to medication

Certain medications can cause as a side effect skin inflammation, which causes acne, and a common example is the use of corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory drugs.

  • How to treat: When possible, talk to your doctor about the possibility of changing your medication, however, it is possible to take measures to reduce acne while using the medication, such as using cleansing lotions or creams that decrease the formation of acne, such as acid retinoic acid, for example.
10 main causes for acne and how to treat it

8. Excessive exposure to the sun

If you are expose yourself to the sun excessively it may cause the formation of pimples, as UV radiation can accelerate inflammation and produce oiliness of the skin, which facilitates the production of acne.

  • How to treat: Avoid exposing yourself to too much sun, preferring hours of lower incidence of UV radiation, such as before 10am or after 4pm. In addition you should always protect yourself with proper sunscreen.

9. Genetic predisposition

Some people have a genetic predisposition to develop acne, especially those who have a lot or very large pimples, because these people have a greater tendency to have immune reactions and to form skin inflammatory lesions.

  • How to treat: The treatment is made with topical products, prescribed by a dermatologist, and in more severe cases, such as grade II or IV acne, for example, it may be necessary to use pills, such as antibiotics or isotretinoin, for example .

10. Pregnancy

Pregnancy may cause the formation of pimples due to an increase in progesterone levels, which increases oiliness in the skin, although this may only happen in some women.

  • How to treat: It is recommended you wash your skin with neutral or mild soap 2 times a day and apply a tonic lotion always after washing and drying your face. You should avoid pill treatments, acids or cosmetic procedures in this period.
10 main causes for acne and how to treat it

The pimple can be both external and internal, and this happens because the obstruction of the sebaceous gland did not find an opening in the skin, being trapped inside a cyst, which can be very painful, however, the treatment is the same.

Usually, acne does not cause health risks unless you have excessive inflammation and develop a serious infection. However, if excessive pimples are left untreated, it can cause scars and blemishes on the face and body that can affect negatively a person's emotional state, and may even be a risk for depression.

How to avoid acne

To avoid the appearance of pimples, you should follow various steps, such as:

  • Avoid jams and fries, as well as alcoholic and carbonated drinks, as they make digestion difficult and damage the skin;
  • Have a diet rich in omega 3, zinc and antioxidants such as salmon, sunflower seeds, fruits and vegetables because they are rich in substances that are important to help reduce skin inflammation;
  • Clean the skin with cosmetic products suitable for oily skin twice a day, morning and evening, and soaps with acetylsalicylic acid are a good option;
  • Pass an oil-free sunscreen to your face before you even apply makeup, even if it already has some protection factor, to protect your skin against the harmful effects of the sun;
  • Do a light scrub once a week to remove dead cells.


When acne can not be avoided, treatment should preferably be done with the use of topical products like skin cleansing lotions or creams that prevent the formation of lesions such as retinoic acid, salicylic acid, adapalene or benzoyl peroxide, for example, prescribed by a Dermatologist, and can be bought or prepared in pharmacies.

If you have a very resistant or severe case of acne, you may need to use antibiotics such as Tetracycline or Erythromycin, or, in the latter case, the use of Isotretinoin, known as Roacutan, because it is very potent and controls the formation of pimples. It is important that these remedies are only used under the guidance of the Dermatologist, due to the risk of side effects.

To avoid the use of medications, there are also radiofrequency techniques, phototherapy with special lights, laser and pulsed light that are very useful to decrease and reduce swelling in the region you have acne.

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