What causes acne? Why does it come back so frequently? And, what can you do to get rid of it? Acne is a common skin condition, but one treatable in most people. Numerous factors cause acne to occur, many of which are controllable. Though some individuals with serious acne and infection may need prescription medication, most people can see benefits from natural treatments.
In this article:
- What Is Acne?
- The Skin’s Makeup
- Underlying Causes of Acne
- What Can You Do About It?
- Other Treatment Options
What Causes Acne Breakouts And Natural Remedies
What Is Acne?
Acne is an inflammation of the skin. It creates spots and pimples to form on the skin, often on the face, neck, chest, and back. It can occur anywhere on the body, though. For some people, acne is chronic, meaning it comes back often. When inflammation occurs, it can create small cysts, blackheads, whiteheads, or raised pimples on the skin. All of these types of inflammation fall under the broad term of acne.
The Skin’s Makeup
To understand the cause, it is essential to consider how the surface of the skin works. The skin is not a flat, firm surface. Rather, it has numerous small openings called pores. These pores create pockets just under the surface of the skin that connect directly to oil glands. Follicles are the hair-producing sacs that connect the pores to the glands directly. This is where hair grows from.
Each of the glands secretes sebum, a type of oily product. It is a necessary component of the skin’s makeup because it helps to keep the skin soft and moisturized. Sebum also works to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. As the oils work their way through the hair follicle and to the surface of the skin, dead skin cells move with it. Hair also grows through the follicle.
Sometimes, the oils cannot travel through the follicle properly. A blockage occurs. This generally includes a combination of skin cells, oil, hair, bacteria, and debris. The oils remain in the pores too long during this time. It can build up significantly under the outer layer of the skin. The blockage is not healthy for the skin, so the immune system begins to fight it. This is what creates inflammation and, ultimately, a pimple.
The most common cause of inflamed acne is the development of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This type of bacteria normally lives under the skin. But, the body’s healthy immune system can control it in most situations. However, when the pores clog up, the oil becomes an easy breeding location for the bacteria. This allows the bacteria to grow at a rapid pace, often faster than the immune system can tolerate it. This creates an infection.
Underlying Causes of Acne
When considering why acne develops, it is important to look at the underlying cause of the build-up of oils in the skin. For many, hormones are at the top of the list.
Acne is very common in young adults, for example. It occurs not because young adults have dirty skin, but rather because the body is overproducing sebum. As it does, this creates too much oil to pass through the hair follicles. The overproduction of oil from the sebaceous glands typically occurs as a result of hormones.
1. Hormonal Imbalance
Imbalances in hormones are one of the leading causes of acne buildup. Specifically, an increase in androgen levels can create a significant amount of oil production in these glands. This increase can occur suddenly during adolescence. In girls, the body converts androgen into estrogen. In boys, it remains androgen.
In both cases, having too much of it can trigger an overproduction of oils. As a person’s androgen levels increase, the sebaceous glands begin to expand under the skin. The gland becomes larger and begins to produce more sebum. Over time, these larger glands create damage to the walls of the pores. This, along with the overproduction of oil, encourages bacteria to grow and flourish in the area.
2. Too Much Oil
Additionally, other hormones impact oil production. For example, stress can trigger acne. It can also happen if an individual is battling an illness or is recovering from having a baby. In these cases, the body’s natural balance of hormones is not present. Menstruation can also trigger hormonal changes leading to acne development.
3. Side Effects of Medication
There are other potential reasons individuals get acne. For example, some medications can cause acne. This is common in adults. Any medication containing androgen or lithium can contribute to increased oil production.
4. External Factors
While most causes of acne come from within, some are due to external factors. For example, the application of oil products to the skin can increase the likelihood of bacteria to grow.
When it comes to what causes acne, it can be hard to pinpoint a single factor. However, individuals who can determine the cause may be able to prevent it from occurring and minimize breakouts from occurring.
What Can You Do About It?
It may seem that many of the causes of acne link directly to hormonal balances. However, it is possible to improve this to see a reduction in acne development. There are also treatment options to help reduce some of the buildup of oil in the skin. Other treatment options work well to reduce inflammation and allow the body’s natural healing ability to kick in to treat the condition.
For those who wish to treat acne, start with natural remedies. Most often, these produce the fewest symptoms and can provide an individual with the relief they need. Here is a look at some of the most effective products.
1. Improve Diet
Diet plays an important role in the overall balance of hormones in the body. Hormone imbalances are a common reason for acne to develop. The key to focus on is two-fold here. First, an individual should choose a diet rich in nutrients. A vibrant diet of lots of differently colored fruits and vegetables is a good start. These allow for essential nutrients to get into the body’s cells. A diet rich in Vitamins A and E, as well as zinc, tends to help reduce the occurrence of severe acne.
Second, individuals should focus on a low glycemic diet. This type of diet reduces the amount of processed foods, specifically grains. By removing processed grains from the diet, it is possible to reduce the body’s blood sugar levels. High blood sugar causes inflammation in the body. Instead, focus on a diet that has only whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy oils, and lean meats in it.
2. Purple Tea
Purple tea is an excellent tool for improving acne in most people. When used as a moisturizer, it works to help encourage healing by reducing inflammation.
Purple tea is a very specific variety of tea grown in the Mt. Kenya area. It has a long history of providing soothing protection to the skin.
There are several key benefits to purple tea. For example, it may help to reduce blood sugar levels. This helps to improve overall hormone balance. It can also work to flush out the skin’s cells of toxins. In this manner, it works as an antioxidant. At the skin level, this can help to restore the health of cells located in the pores.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil also has a number of healing abilities. Just a small amount dabbed onto the impacted area can soothe the skin. It works to remove oil buildup in the pores while also working to reduce bacteria present there. It can work effectively at helping to unblock the sebaceous glands as well.
Tea tree oil is a specific type of essential oil. It offers a holistic benefit to the skin as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial product. It can also be used as an antifungal agent, which can help to reduce inflammation caused by fungus on the skin.
Exfoliating can help, too. In this process, the goal is to remove the build-up of material from within the pores. It is essential to do this carefully. Too much pressure can open up pimples which, in turn, can cause infection. Using a lightweight, gentle exfoliating brush, rub the skin gently. This helps to remove dead skin cells as well as the bacteria, oil buildup, and debris from the pores.
Other Treatment Options
There are a few other natural remedies to consider for breakouts:
- Use an essential oil mask. Include tea tree oil as well as other types of essential oils with antibacterial properties such as rosehip seed oil and carrot seed oil.
- Moisturize the skin with topicals made of all-natural ingredients such as honey.
- Consider a probiotic. This type of product can help to stimulate healing and helps control bacteria growth.
- Apply holy basil essential oils directly to an area of significant inflammation.
- For soothing of inflamed skin, apply coconut oil or cultured milk products to the skin directly.
If you already know what causes acne on your skin, you can start finding the best way to heal or prevent it. Consider the benefits of drinking purple tea, not just for your acne but for overall better health. Watch the video by Best For Health below for more information:
Improving the overall presence of acne does not have to be challenging with these tools. Addressing the underlying cause of acne, such as hormonal imbalances is essential. A combination of treating hormones and applying care to the skin can trigger an improvement in an individual’s overall well-being.
How do you deal with what causes acne on your face? Share what kind of natural treatments you’ve tried below!