Acne is a common skin condition that often appears for the first time during adolescence. However, acne can develop at any age. In fact, Intermountain® Healthcare notes that it’s even possible for people who never had acne as a teen to develop it later in life.
Even though acne is quite common, misperceptions about it persist. For example, consuming chocolate or greasy foods like French fries will not lead to a bout of acne. Various factors directly contribute to acne, offers Harvard Medical School, and such factors include:
· Bacteria: Bacteria contribute to inflammatory lesions in acne. At various times, including during puberty, bacteria on the surface of the skin can increase. Antimicrobials can suppress certain bacteria in patients with acne.
· Hormones: Fluctuating hormones, including fluctuations that occur during pregnancy and menopause, can lead to acne. Stopping or starting birth control also can lead to acne. Hormones that increase in boys and girls during puberty can cause sebaceous glands to enlarge and make more sebum as well, says the Mayo Clinic.
· Excess oil production: Some people may produce more sebum than others. When coupled with skin care products and makeup that can clog pores, this may lead to acne.
· Inflammation: Inflammation caused by diet can lead to inflammation throughout the body, and that may result in acne.
· Underlying medical condition: Certain conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome in women, are often accompanied by chronic or difficult-to-control acne.
· Medications: Medications people take for various conditions may actually cause acne as a side effect. This includes drugs that contain testosterone, lithium or corticosteroids. Changing medications may reduce breakouts.
It’s important to note that acne is not caused by dirty skin. Scrubbing skin too harshly with chemicals or soaps may actually make acne worse by irritating the skin. Though makeup will not contribute to acne, opt for oil-free, noncomedogenic products and remove makeup each night before going to bed.
Acne is often tied to adolescence, but it also can persist into or even first appear during adulthood. Learning the causes of acne can help people of all ages successfully confront it.