What Causes Acne?

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So many different things can cause breakouts. And while it might seem like they pop up all of a sudden, pimple formation follows a distinct process. Generally each pimple has a life span of about 10 days, unless treated. Teens get more pimples because of their hormonal imbalance and oily skin, which gives the skin a tendency to overreact with inflammation if anything goes wrong. So don't worry, it really does get better.

What usually happens is that a pore becomes blocked with oil, dirt, dead skin cells or makeup. Then bacteria in the pore respond by actively growing, releasing chemicals into the skin which cause inflammation, so the pimple swells up and becomes red. The white core of a red zit – properly called a pustule (yeah, gross) – is the result of white blood cells fighting bacteria in the pore.

Acne can be caused by make-up which is often used to cover breakouts.  You should look for make-up that says it’s non-comedogenic (won’t block pores). Store beauty assistants can help with this – it’s usually written on the pack. Acne in girls is often solved by breaking the cycle of cover-up and breakouts. Sometimes a change of climate causes breakouts – the increased sweating in the skin caused by going somewhere warm for vacation can bring on a crop of zits at just the wrong time. You can help prevent this with a good cleansing regimen and by avoiding too much sun exposure which makes the skin more inflamed and reactive.

Rarely, acne can happen because of your job and this is seen these days mostly with auto technicians who are exposed to oil in their job.

Most teens grow out of their acne, but if it does persist into adulthood, treatment is the same with a good cleansing and treatment program.

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