5 Factors That Could Be Contributing to Your Acne


It’s natural to think that acne is a kids’ condition, affecting teenagers throughout their transition to puberty. But the reality is that acne can develop at any time, giving you flashback to your own teenage years and shaking your self-confidence.

Dr. Lisa Hitchins is a skilled dermatologist, specializing in treating acne breakouts and restoring the health of your skin. She customizes treatment plans for in-office and at-home skin care regimens that reduce your risk of acne and help you achieve clearer skin with long-lasting results.

To truly understand how to tackle acne, it’s important to understand what plays a role in the development of the painful bumps and redness that can take over your skin. Here are five factors that may be triggering acne flare-ups or making your existing acne worse.

Unhealthy diet

What you put into your body makes a difference in your overall health, including the health of your skin. If you eat a lot of high-carb foods, like breads and pasta, you may develop issues with your blood sugar and insulin levels.

High blood sugar causes insulin levels to increase. In turn, insulin affects androgen hormones, making skin cells grow rapidly and triggering excess skin oil production.

Additionally, if you’re sensitive to certain types of foods, eating them can cause inflammation in your body. Your immune system mistakenly fights back against this inflammation and can aggravate existing acne.

Certain medications

If you take certain medications, they may be contributing to your acne. For many, acne can be made worse with regular use of medications like corticosteroids or antidepressants.

Hormone therapies and birth control also may have an impact on the health of your skin, especially if they contain hormones like estrogen or testosterone.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes that occur in adolescence are often responsible for teenage acne. But your hormones also change during other times of your life, including during pregnancy and the transition to menopause.

Hormone fluctuations, specifically with the androgen hormone, can lead to enlarged sebaceous glands and increased oil production in the skin.

Too much stress

Stress can impact your skin’s health in several ways. For one, stress can trigger your immune system, and that leads to inflammation in your skin and excess oil production that leads to pimples.

Another factor at play in stress and acne involves corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which affects the receptors in the oil-producing glands of the skin, causing an increase in oils to develop on the skin.

Finally, stress can stimulate the nervous system, triggering skin itchiness. This may worsen your acne condition if you start picking at your skin, causing increased redness, swelling, and possible infection.

Your genetics

Unfortunately, some cases of acne are largely unavoidable because of your family history. If your parents had recurrent acne breakouts, you may be at increased risk for having them, too.

There’s not a specific gene mutation that relates to acne; however, your family may have a history of overproducing dead skin cells or oils. This can cause frequently clogged pores that lead to acne.  

In some cases, the genetic link has to do with the levels of the androgen hormone in your system.

Regardless of the cause of your acne, Dr. Hitchins can help reduce the severity of your symptoms and restore the health of your skin with the available treatments she offers.

If your self-esteem is affected by frequent acne breakouts or your acne becomes severe and painful, don’t delay a skin evaluation at Dermatology Center of Northwest Houston. You can request an appointment online or by calling the office.

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