ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Causes Acne?

Updated on March 6, 2012
What causes acne?
What causes acne?

Although we can easily describe how acne forms, it is far harder to give a definite answer on what triggers it. While a lot of factors have been proven to have an impact when it comes to the occurrence of breakouts in acne sufferers, not everything is known about what causes acne from a medical perspective. Every case is different, and when it comes to analyzing the potential causes of your own acne it is important to know which environmental and biological elements have a relationship with acne as a condition.

Hereditary Predisposition

Just about everything about your skin is the result of genetics. The color of your skin, how prone it is to sun damage, whether it tends towards greasiness or dryness, and how likely it is to display skin conditions like acne are all impacted by your family history. If either of your parents have acne, or had it during puberty, the chances of you having it too are much higher. Of course, because our genetic make-up is a mixture of the dominant genes in both our paternal and maternal families, there is no guarantee that your skin will behave exactly the same as your mother's or father's, but in many cases acne is passed down through the family. This isn't all bad news ā€“ other members of your family who have suffered from acne before you may have found a system of treatment that works for them, which could potentially work for you too. This may help take some of the trial and error out of finding a regime that works for you or identifying triggers.

Hormonal Changes

There is no doubt that hormone changes affect the production of sebum in the skin, which can cause acne to form. This is the reason why acne is traditionally thought of as affecting teenagers, whose hormonal balances become altered to extreme levels during puberty, though it can affect anybody at any age. The relationship between hormones and acne treatment is also the reason why there are more female than male adult acne sufferers ā€“ in men, hormone levels stay fairly constant, however in women they fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle and change dramatically during pregnancy and the menopause ā€“ sometimes causing acne in women who have never experienced it before.


Although stress seems to be cited as a cause for just about every skin care condition going, in the case of acne there is a well established link. This is again, due to hormones. The adrenal glands release increased levels of hormones such as cortisol during times of worry, anxiety or pressure, so when somebody has a stressful lifestyle the hormonal impact can lead to acne. This generally happens to people who have experienced acne at other times, who will often find that their condition worsens or recurs when they face stress.

Other Factors

Other things, such as some medical treatment or the use of certain types of prescription or street drugs (especially amphetamines or steroid based drugs) can also cause flare-ups in acne sufferers or changes in the severity and location of acne.

As a rule, the healthier you are, the better your skin will look, so if you are prone to acne this is something to bear in mind alongside any other treatment.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      causes for acne 

      6 years ago

      Great article Using the recommended products makes the dryness worse causing my face to be extremely itchy and uncomfortable

    • Sadie14 profile image

      Brittany B 

      6 years ago from U.S.

      Very interesting and informative good job!

    • BestMensSkinCare profile image


      6 years ago from California

      Very nice info here. Best acne page so far!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)